The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) (Persian: برنامه جامع اقدام مشترک, abbreviated as برجام) is an international agreement on the nuclear program of Iran signed in Vienna on 14 July 2015 between Iran, the P5+1 (the fivepermanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany),[a] and the European Union.
Formal negotiations toward the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program began with the adoption of theJoint Plan of Action—an interim agreement on the Iranian nuclear program signed between Iran and the P5+1 countries—in November 2013. For the next twenty months, Iran and the P5+1 countries engaged in negotiations, and in April 2015 agreed on a framework agreement for the final agreement. In July 2015, Iran and the P5+1 agreed on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Under the agreement, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98%, and reduce by about two-thirds the number of its centrifuges for at least fifteen years. For the next fifteen years, Iran will only enrich uranium up to 3.67%. Iran also agreed not to build any new uranium-enriching or heavy-water facilities over the same period. Uranium-enrichment activities will be limited to a single facility using first-generation centrifuges for ten years. Other facilities will be converted to avoid proliferation risks. To monitor and verify Iran’s compliance with the agreement, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will have regular access to all Iranian nuclear facilities. The agreement provides that in return for verifiably abiding by its commitments, Iran will receive relief from U.S., European Union, and United Nations Security Council nuclear-related sanctions.
N.B.: most readers could stop here…
- 1 Background
- 2 Negotiations
- 3 Summary of provisions
- 4 Reactions
- 5 Next steps
- 5.1 Incorporated into international law by the United Nations Security Council
- 5.2 Approved by European Union
- 5.3 Review period in the United States Congress
- 5.4 Review period in Iran
- 6 Impacts and potential impacts
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
A nuclear weapon uses a fissile material to cause a nuclear chain reaction. The most commonly used materials have been uranium 235 (U-235) and plutonium 239 (P-239). Both uranium 233 (U-233) and reactor-grade plutonium have also been used. The amount of uranium or plutonium needed depends on the sophistication of the design, with a simple design requiring approximately 15kg of uranium or 6kg of plutonium and a sophisticated design requiring as little as 9kg of uranium or 2kg of plutonium. Plutonium is almost nonexistent in nature, and natural uranium is about 99.3% uranium 238 (U-238) and 0.7% U-235. Therefore, to make a weapon, either uranium must be enriched, or plutonium must be produced. Uranium enrichment is also frequently necessary for nuclear power. For this reason, uranium enrichment is adual-use technology, a technology which “can be used both for civilian and for military purposes.” Key strategies to prevent proliferation of nuclear arms include limiting the number of operating uranium enrichment plants and controlling the export of nuclear technology and fissile material.
Iranian development of nuclear technology began in the 1970s, when the U.S. Atoms for Peace program began providing assistance to Iran, which was then led by theShah. Iran signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1968 as a non-nuclear weapons state and ratified the NPT in 1970.
In 1979, the Iranian Revolution took place, and Iran’s nuclear program, which had developed some baseline capacity, fell to disarray as “much of Iran’s nuclear talent fled the country in the wake of the Revolution.” Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was initially opposed to nuclear technology; and Iran engaged in a costly war with Iraq from 1980 to 1988.
Starting in the later 1980s, Iran restarted its nuclear program, with assistance from Pakistan (which entered into a bilateral agreement with Iran in 1992), China (which did the same in 1990), and Russia (which did the same in 1992 and 1995), and from the A.Q. Khan network. Iran “began pursuing an indigenous nuclear fuel cycle capability by developing a uranium mining infrastructure and experimenting with uranium conversion and enrichment.” According to the nonpartisan Nuclear Threat Initiative, “U.S. intelligence agencies have long suspected Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover for clandestine weapons development.” Iran, in contrast, “has always insisted that its nuclear work is peaceful.”
In August 2002, the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, an Iranian dissident group, publicly revealed the existence of two undeclared nuclear facilities, theArak heavy-water production facility and the Natanz enrichment facility. In February 2003, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami acknowledged that the existence of the facilities and asserted that Iran had undertaken “small-scale enrichment experiments” to produce low-enriched uranium for nuclear power plants. In late February,International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors visited Natanz. In May 2003, Iran allowed IAEA inspectors to visit the Kalaye Electric Company, but refused to allow them to take samples, and an IAEA report the following month concluded that Iran had failed to meet its obligations under the previous agreement.
In June 2003, Iran—faced with the prospect of being referred to the UN Security Council—entered into diplomatic negotiations with France, Germany, and the United Kingdom (the EU 3). The U.S. refused to be involved in these negotiations. In October 2003, the Tehran Declaration was reached between Iran and the EU 3; under this declaration Iran agreed to cooperate fully with the IAEA, sign the Additional Protocol, and temporarily suspend all uranium enrichment. In September and October 2003, the IAEA conducted several facility inspections. This was followed by the Paris Agreement in November 2004, in which Iran agreed to temporarily suspend enrichment and conversion activities, “including the manufacture, installation, testing, and operation of centrifuges, and committed to working with the EU-3 to find a mutually beneficial long-term diplomatic solution.”
In August 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a hard-liner, was elected president of Iran. He accused Iranian negotiators who had negotiated the Paris Accords of treason. Over the next two months, the EU 3 agreement fell apart as talks over the EU 3’s proposed Long Term Agreement broke down; the Iranian government “felt that the proposal was heavy on demands, light on incentives, did not incorporate Iran’s proposals, and violated the Paris Agreement.” Iran notified the IAEA that it would resume uranium conversion at Esfahan.
In February 2006, Iran ended its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol and resumed enrichment at Natanz, prompting the IAEA Board of Governors to refer Iran to the UN Security Council. After the vote, Iran announced it would resume enrichment of uranium. In April 2006, Ahmadinejad announced that Iran had nuclear technology, but stated that it was purely for power generation and not for producing weapons. In June 2006, the EU 3 joined China, Russia, and the United States, to form the P5+1. The following month, July 2006, the UN Security Council its first resolution demanding Iran stop uranium enrichment and processing.Altogether, from 2006 to 2010, the UN Security Council subsequently adopted six resolutions concerning Iran’s nuclear program: 1696 (July 2006), 1737 (December 2006), 1747 (March 2007), 1803 (March 2008), 1835 (September 2008), and 1929 (June 2010). The legal authority for the IAEA Board of Governors referral and the Security Council resolutions was derived from the IAEA Statute and the United Nations Charter. The resolutions demanded that Iran cease enrichment activities and imposing sanctions on Iran, including bans on the transfer of nuclear and missile technology to the country and freezes on the assets of certain Iranian individuals and entities, in order to pressure the country. However, in Resolution 1803 and elsewhere the Security Council also acknowledged Iran’s rights under Article IV of the NPT, which provides for “the inalienable right … to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful Purposes.”[b]
In July 2006, Iran opened the Arak heavy water production plant, which led to one of the Security Council resolutions. In September 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama, reveals the existence of an underground enrichment facility in Fordow, near Qom saying that “Iran’s decision to build yet another nuclear facility without notifying the IAEA represents a direct challenge to the basic compact at the center of the non-proliferation regime.” Israel threatened to take military action against Iran.
In a February 2007 interview with the Financial Times, IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei said that military action against Iran “would be catastrophic, counterproductive” and called for negotiations between the international community and Iran over the Iranian nuclear program. ElBaradei specifically proposed a “double, simultaneous suspension, a time out” as “a confidence-building measure,” under which the international sanctions would be suspended and Iran would suspend enrichment. ElBaradei also said that “if I look at it from a weapons perspective there are much more important issues to me than the suspension of [enrichment],” naming his top priorities as preventing Iran from “go[ing] to industrial capacity until the issues are settled”; building confidence, with “full inspection” involving Iranian adoption of the Additional Protocol; and “at all costs” preventing Iran from “moving out of the [treaty-based non-proliferation] system.”
A November 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate assessed that Iran “halted its nuclear weapons program” in 2003; that estimate and subsequent U.S. Intelligence Community statements also assessed that the Iranian government at the time had was “keeping open the ‘option’ to develop nuclear weapons” in the future. A July 2015Congressional Research Service report said that “statements from the U.S. intelligence community indicate that Iran has the technological and industrial capacity to produce nuclear weapons at some point, but the U.S. government assesses that Tehran has not mastered all of the necessary technologies for building a nuclear weapon.”
In March 2013, the U.S. began a series of secret bilateral talks with Iranian officials in Oman, led by William Joseph Burns and Jake Sullivan on the American side and Ali Asghar Khaji on the Iranian side. In June 2013, Hassan Rouhani was elected president of Iran. Rouhani has been described as “more moderate, pragmatic and willing to negotiate than Ahmadinejad.” However, in a 2006 nuclear negotiation with European powers, Rouhani said that Iran had used the negotiations to dupe the Europeans, saying that during the negotiations, Iran managed to master the conversion of uranium yellowcake at Isfahan. The conversion of yellowcake is an important step in the nuclear fuel process. In August 2013, three days after his inauguration, Rouhani calls for a resumption of serious negotiations with the P5+1 on the Iranian nuclear program. In September 2013, Obama and Rouhani had a telephone conversation, the first high-level contact between U.S. and Iranian leaders since 1979, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had a meeting with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, signaling that the two countries had an opening to cooperation.
After several rounds of negotiations, on 24 November 2013, the Joint Plan of Action, an interim agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, was signed between Iran and the P5+1 countries in Geneva, Switzerland. It consisted of a short-term freeze of portions of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for decreased economic sanctions on Iran, as the countries work towards a long-term agreement. The IAEA began “more intrusive and frequent inspections” under this interim agreement. The agreement was formally activated on 20 January 2014. On that day, the IAEA issues a report stating that Iran was adhering to the terms of the interim agreement, including stopping enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, beginning the dilution process (to reduce half of the stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium to 3.5 percent), and halting work on the Arak heavy-water reactor.
A major focus on the negotiations was limitations on Iran’s key nuclear facilities: the Arak IR-40 heavy water reactor and production plant (which was under construction, but never became operational, as Iran agreed as part of the November 2013 Joint Plan of Action (interim agreement) not to commission or fuel the reactor); the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant; the Gachin uranium mine; the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant; the Isfahan uranium-conversion plant; the Natanz uranium enrichment plant; and theParchin military research and development complex.
The agreement followed the Joint Plan of Action (JPA), an interim agreement between the P5+1 powers and Iran that was agreed to on 24 November 2013 at Geneva. The Geneva agreement was an interim deal, in which Iran agreed to roll back parts of its nuclear program in exchange for relief from some sanctions. This went into effect on 20 January 2014. The parties agreed to extend their talks with a first extension deadline on 24 November 2014 and a second extension deadline set to 1 July 2015.
An Iran nuclear deal framework was reached on 2 April 2015. Under this framework Iran agreed tentatively to accept restrictions on its nuclear program, all of which would last for at least a decade and some longer, and to submit to an increased intensity of international inspections under a framework deal. These details were to be negotiated by the end of June 2015. The negotiations toward a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action were extended several times until the final agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was finally reached on 14 July 2015. The JCPOA is based on the framework agreement from three months earlier.
Subsequently the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 continued. In April 2014, a framework deal was reached at Lausanne. Intense marathon negotiations then continued, with the last session in Vienna at the Palais Coburg lasting for seventeen days. At several points, negotiations appeared to be at risk of breaking down, but negotiators managed to come to agreement. As the negotiators neared a deal, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry directly asked Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to confirm that he was “authorized to actually make a deal, not just by the [Iranian] president, but by the supreme leader?” Zarif gave assurances that he was.
Ultimately, on 14 July 2015, all parties agreed to a landmark comprehensive nuclear agreement. At the time of the announcement, shortly before 11:00 GMT, the agreement was released to the public.
The final agreement’s complexity shows the impact of a bipartisan public letter written by a group of 19 U.S. diplomats, experts, and others in June 2015, written when negotiations were still going on. That letter outlined concerns about the several provisions in the then-unfinished agreement and called for a number of improvements to strengthen the prospective agreement and win their support for it. After the final agreement was reached, one of the signatories, Robert J. Einhorn, a former U.S. Department of State official now at the Brookings Institution, said of the agreement: “Analysts will be pleasantly surprised. The more things are agreed to, the less opportunity there is for implementation difficulties later on.”
The final agreement is based upon (and buttresses) “the rules-based nonproliferation regime created by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and including especially the IAEA safeguards system.”
Summary of provisions
|Capability||Before JCPOA||After JCPOA
(for 10-year period)
|After 15 years|
|19,138||capped at 6,104||Unconstrained|
|Advanced centrifuges installed||1,008||0||Unconstrained|
|7,154 kg||300 kg||Unconstrained|
|196 kg||0 kg||Unconstrained|
- Iran’s current stockpile of low-enriched uranium will be reduced by 98 percent, from 10,000 kg to 300 kg. This reduction will be maintained for fifteen years. For the same fifteen-year period, Iran will be limited to enriching uranium to 3.67%, a percentage sufficient for civilian nuclear power and research, but not for building a nuclear weapon. However, the number of centrifuges is sufficient for a nuclear weapon, but not for nuclear power. This is a “major decline” in Iran’s previous nuclear activity; prior to watering down its stockpile pursuant to the Joint Plan of Action interim agreement, Iran had enriched uranium to near 20% (medium-enriched uranium). These enriched uranium in excess of 300 kg of up to 3.67% will be down blended to natural uranium level or be sold in return for natural uranium, and the uranium enriched to between 5% and 20% will be fabricated into fuel plates for the Tehran Research Reactor or sold or diluted to an enrichment level of 3.67%. The implementation of the commercial contracts will be facilitated by P5+1. After fifteen years, all physical limits on enrichment will be removed, including limits on the type and number of centrifuges, Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium, and the where Iran may have enrichment facilities. According to Belfer, at this point Iran could “expand its nuclear program expand its nuclear program to create more practical overt and covert nuclear weapons options.”
- For ten years, Iran will place over two-thirds of its centrifuges in storage, from its current stockpile of 19,000 centrifuges (of which 10,000 were operational) to no more than 6,104 operational centrifuges, with only 5,060 allowed to enrich uranium, with the enrichment capacity being limited to the Natanz plant. The centrifuges there must be IR-1 centrifuges, the first-generation centrifuge type which is Iran’s oldest and least efficient; Iran will give up its advanced IR-2M centrifuges in this period. The non-operating centrifuges will be stored in Natanz and monitored by IAEA, but may be used to replace failed centrigfuges. Iran will not build any new uranium-enrichment facilities for fifteen years.
- Iran may continue research and development work on enrichment, but that work will take place only at the Natanz facility and include certain limitations for the first eight years. This is intended to keep the country to a breakout time of one year.
- Iran, with cooperation from the “Working Group” (the P5+1 and possibly other countries), will modernise and rebuild the Arak heavy water research reactor based on an agreed design to support its peaceful nuclear research and production needs and purposes, but in such a way to minimise the production of plutonium and not to produce weapons-grade plutonium. The power of the redesigned reactor will not exceed 20 MWth. The P5+1 parties will support and facilitate the timely and safe construction of the Arak complex. All spent fuel will be sent out of the country. All excess heavy water which is beyond Iran’s needs for the redesigned reactor will be made available for export to the international market based on international prices. For 15 years, Iran will not engage in, or research on, spent fuel reprocessing.Iran will also not build any additional heavy-water reactors or accumulate heavy water for fifteen years.
- Iran’s Fordow facility will stop enriching uranium and researching uranium enrichment for at least fifteen years; the facility will be converted into a nuclear physics and technology center. For 15 years, Fordow will maintain no more than 1,044 IR-1 centrifuges in six cascades in one wing of Fordow. “Two of those six cascades will spin without uranium and will be transitioned, including through appropriate infrastructure modification,” for stable radioisotope production for medical, agricultural, industrial, and scientific use. “The other four cascades with all associated infrastructure will remain idle.” Iran will not be permitted to have any fissile material in Fordow.
- Iran will implement an Additional Protocol agreement which will continue in perpetuity for as long as Iran remains a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The signing of the Additional Protocol represents a continuation of the monitoring and verification provisions “long after the comprehensive agreement between the P5+1 and Iran is implemented.”
- A comprehensive inspections regime will be implemented in order to monitor and confirm that Iran is complying with its obligations and is not diverting any fissile material.[c]
- The IAEA will have multilayered oversight “over Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain, from uranium mills to its procurement of nuclear-related technologies.” For declared nuclear sites such as Fordow and Natanz, the IAEA will have “round-the-clock access” to nuclear facilities and will be entitled to maintain continuous monitoring (including via surveillance equipment) at such sites. The agreement authorizes the IAEA to make use of sophisticated monitoring technology, such as fiber-optic seals on equipment that can electronically send information to the IAEA; infrared satellite imagery to detect covert sites, “environmental sensors that can detect minute signs of nuclear particles”; tamper-resistant, radiation-resistant cameras. Other tools include computerized accounting programs to gather information and detect anomalies, and big data sets on Iranian imports, to monitor dual-use items.
- The number of IAEA inspectors assigned to Iran will triple, from 50 to 150 inspectors.
- If IAEA inspectors have concerns that Iran is developing nuclear capabilities at any non-declared sites, they may request access “to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with” the agreement, informing Iran of the basis for their concerns. The inspectors would only come from countries with which Iran has diplomatic relations. Iran may admit the inspectors to such site or propose alternatives to inspection that might satisfy the IAEA’s concerns. If such an agreement cannot be reached, a process running to a maximum of 24 days is triggered. Under this process, Iran and the IAEA have 14 days to resolve disagreements among themselves. If they fail to, the Joint Commission (including all eight parties) would have one week in which to consider the intelligence which initiated the IAEA request. A majority of the Commission (at least five of the eight members) could then inform Iran of the action that it would be required to take within three more days. The majority rule provision “means the United States and its European allies—Britain, France, Germany and the EU—could insist on access or any other steps and that Iran, Russia or China could not veto them.” If Iran did not comply with the decision within three days, sanctions would be automatically reimposed under the snapback provision (see below).
As a result of the above, the “breakout time”—the time in which it would be possible for Iran to make enough material for a single nuclear weapon—will increase from two to three months to one year, according to U.S. officials and U.S. intelligence.[d] An August 2015 report published by a group of experts at Harvard University‘sBelfer Center for Science and International Affairs concurs in these estimates, writing that under the JCPOA, “over the next decade would be extended to roughly a year, from the current estimated breakout time of 2 to 3 months. The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation also accepts these estimates. By contrast, Alan J. Kuperman, coordinator of the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project at the University of Texas at Austin, disputed the one-year assessment, arguing that under the agreement, Iran’s breakout time “would be only about three months, not much longer than it is today.”
The longer breakout time would be in place for at least ten years; after that point, the breakout time would gradually decrease. By the fifteenth year, U.S. officials state that the breakout time would return to the pre-JCPOA status quo of a few months. The Belfer Center report states: “Some contributors to this report believe that breakout time by year 15 could be comparable to what it is today—a few months—while others believe it could be reduced to a few weeks.
- No new UN or EU nuclear-related sanctions or restrictive measures will be imposed.
- Following the issuance of a IAEA report verifying implementation by Iran of the nuclear-related measures, the UN sanctions against Iran terminate, some EU sanctions terminate and some are suspended, and the U.S. “ceases” application of its nuclear-related sanctions. This step is not tied to any specific date, but is expected to occur “roughly in the first half of 2016.” Once sanctions are lifted, Iran will recover approximately $100 billion of its assets (U.S. Treasury Department estimate) frozen in overseas banks.
- Sanctions relating to ballistic missile technologies would remain for eight years; similar sanctions on conventional weapon sales to Iran would remain for five years.
- Eight years into the agreement, EU sanctions against a number of Iranian companies, individuals and institutions (such as the Revolutionary Guards) will be lifted.
- However, all U.S. sanctions against Iran related to alleged human rights abuses, missiles, and support for terrorism are not affected by the agreement and will remain in place. U.S. sanctions are viewed as more stringent, since many have extraterritorial effect (i.e., they apply worldwide). EU sanctions, by contrast, apply only in Europe.
- If Iran violates the agreement, a “snap back” provision takes effect, under which the sanctions could “snap back” into place (i.e., be reimplemented, with certain exceptions).
- Specifically, the JCPOA establishes the following dispute resolution process: if a party to the JCPOA has reason to believe that another party is not upholding its commitments under the agreement, then the complaining party may refer its complaint to the Joint Commission, a body created under the JCPOA to monitor implementation. If a complaint made by a non-Iran party is not resolved to the satisfaction of the complaining party within thirty-five days of referral, then that party could treat the unresolved issue as grounds to cease performing its commitments under the JCPOA, notify the United Nations Security Council that it believes the issue constitutes significant non-performance, or both. The Security Council would then have thirty days to adopt a resolution to continue the lifting of sanctions. If such a resolution is not adopted within those thirty days, then the sanctions of all of the pre-JCPOA nuclear-related UN Security Council resolutions would automatically be re-imposed. Iran has stated that in such a case, it would cease performing its nuclear obligations under the deal. The effect of this rule is that any permanent member of the Security Council (the U.S., Britain, China, Russia and France) can veto any ongoing sanctions relief, but no member can veto the re-imposition of sanctions.
- Ankit Panda of The Diplomat states that this will make impossible any scenario where Iran is non-compliant with the JCPOA yet escapes re-imposition of sanctions. Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (which opposes the agreement) argues, however, that because the JCPOA provides that Iran could treat reinstatement of sanctions (in part or entirely) as grounds for leaving the agreement, the U.S. would be reluctant to impose a “snapback” for smaller violations: “The only thing you’ll take to the Security Council are massive Iranian violations, because you’re certainly not going to risk the Iranians walking away from the deal and engaging in nuclear escalation over smaller violations.”
- Snapback sanctions “would not apply with retroactive effect to contracts signed between any party and Iran or Iranian individuals and entities prior to the date of application, provided that the activities contemplated under and execution of such contracts are consistent with this JCPOA and the previous and current UN Security Council resolutions.”
Political and diplomatic reactions
There was a significant worldwide response following the announcement of the agreement; more than 90 countries endorsed the agreement, as did many international organizations. Yet there was a strong negative response from the Israeli government, as well as almost all Republicans in the United States and many Iranian hardliners.
From countries that are parties to the JCPOA
- Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that “the most important achievement of the comprehensive agreement is that the international nuclear non-proliferation system is safeguarded. It can be said that China had played a unique and constructive role and thus is highly praised and affirmed by all parties. In the next step, there are still many matters to be attended to concerning the implementation of the agreement. China will continuously make new contribution to this end with a responsible attitude.”
- European Union
- High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, who acted as coordinator for the powers, said it could “open the way to a new chapter in international relations and show that diplomacy, coordination, cooperation can overcome decades of tensions and confrontations” and that it is “a sign of hope for the entire world.”
- Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, congratulated the negotiating parties and said: “If fully implemented, the agreement could be a turning point in relations between Iran and the international community, paving the way to new avenues of cooperation between the EU and Iran. Geopolitically, it has the potential to be a game changer.”
- In a Bastille Day speech, President Francois Hollande praised the deal and called upon Iran to “show that it is ready to help us end” the Syrian civil war. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told Le Monde that the pact was a “robust agreement” that would last at least a decade. Both Hollande and Fabius pledged that France would be “extremely vigilant” in the implementation of the agreement.
- Fabius visited Iran on July 29, telling reporters in Tehran that “this deal allows the relations between our countries to develop and allows us to renew cooperation.” His visit was controversial in Iran and met with public anger for several reasons.
- Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the agreement was “an important success” of international diplomacy.
- Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that the agreement was a “historic breakthrough.” In mid-July 2015, Gabriel, along with a delegation of German industry and science representatives, completed a three-day visit to Iran focused on bolstering German-Iranian trade. Gabriel said there was “great interest on the part of German industry in normalizing and strengthening economic relations with Iran.”
- President Hassan Rouhani said the final agreement proved that “constructive engagement works” and presented the deal as a step on the road towards a wider goal of international cooperation: “With this unnecessary crisis resolved, new horizons emerge with a focus on shared challenges.”
- Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif called it an “historic moment” and said: “Today could have been the end of hope on this issue, but now we are starting a new chapter of hope. Let’s build on that.”
- In a July 21 speech to the Iranian Parliament, Zarif said that the agreement was a defeat for Israel, saying that “Never before was the Zionist regime so isolated, even among her own allies.” On August 12, after a meeting with Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Zarif said that the agreement “created a historic opportunity to [sic] for regional cooperation to fight extremism and face threats posed by the Zionist entity.”
- Many Iranian families and youth celebrated at Vanak Square and elsewhere on the streets of Tehran on the evening of the agreement’s announcements. Some held signs calling for the release of Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hussein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi from house arrest. Other ordinary Iranians cheered the announcement on social media.
- On 16 July 2015, two days after the agreement was signed, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made his first public comments on the final agreement in a letter to President Hassan Rouhani posted on Khamenei’s website. Khamenei wrote that “bringing the negotiations to a conclusion was a milestone” but that “the prepared text, however, needs careful scrutiny.” Iranian hard-liners took the letter as a signal of openness to criticize the deal. In a speech in Tehran marking the end of Ramadan made two days later, Khamenei said, “Our policies toward the arrogant government of the United States will not be changed at all.” However, Khamenei also praised the negotiators who arranged the deal, which was taken as a symbol that he would not seek to block the deal in theIranian parliament or the Supreme National Security Council. Khamenei also expressed support for the agreement, saying: “After 12 years of struggling with the Islamic republic, the result is that they [the P5+1 nations] have to bear the turning of thousands of centrifuges in the country.” Khamenei is believed to have approved the negotiations and the agreement, giving Rouhani crucial political cover to do so.
- The New York Times reported that “Iran’s influential hard-liners, who have criticized Mr. Rouhani in much the same way that President Obama has been denounced by Republicans in the United States, signaled their intent to undercut the agreement,” which they believe to be too favorable to the West. Foad Izadi, a professor at the University of Tehran, complained that of the 19 Iranian “major red lines” identified by the supreme leader during negotiations, “18 and a half have been crossed.” Conservative lawmaker Alireza Zakani said “celebrating too early can send a bad signal to the enemy.”
- Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency stressed that under the agreement “world powers have recognized Iran’s peaceful nuclear program and are to respect the nuclear rights of (Iran) within international conventions.” The IRNA report also said that “The policy on preventing enrichment uranium is now failed” and stressed that “no Iranian nuclear facilities or centrifuges will be dismantled.”
- Russian Federation
- United Kingdom
- Prime Minister David Cameron applauded the agreement, saying that it would help “make our world a safer place” and that Iran now had a “real opportunity” to benefit economically.
- Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond criticized the Israeli government’s position on the JCPOA, saying in the House of Commons that “no agreement with Iran would have been enough for Netanyahu” and that “Israel prefers a permanent state of standoff” with Iran. At a joint press conference the next day in Jerusalem, Hammond and Netanyahu “sparred publicly” over the agreement, “veering off prepared comments … in an awkward back-and-forth that extended what is usually a standard, brief public appearance with visiting officials into a spirited debate.”
- United States
- President Barack Obama addressed the nation in a 7 a.m. televised address from the White House, with Vice President Joe Biden at his side. Obama stated that the agreement “meets every single one of the bottom lines we established when we achieved a framework earlier this spring. Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off. And the inspection and transparency regime necessary to verify that objective will be put in place.” The president emphasized that the agreement is “not built on trust—it is built on verification.” Obama vowed to veto any congressional action that would block the agreement’s implementation, saying: “I am confident that this deal will meet the national security needs of the United States and our allies, so I will veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal. We do not have to accept an inevitable spiral into conflict, and we certainly shouldn’t seek it.” Obama stated: “I welcome scrutiny of the details of this agreement” and added that “This is not the time for politics or posturing. Tough talk from Washington does not solve problems. Hard-nosed diplomacy, leadership that has united the world’s major powers, offers a more effective way to verify that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapon.”
- At a press briefing in Vienna, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the agreement was “a measureable step away from the prospect of nuclear proliferation” and “the specter of conflict” and that “there can be no question that this agreement will provide a stronger, more comprehensive, and more lasting means of limiting Iran’s nuclear program than any realistic alternative.” Kerry also stated that “The deal we have reached … gives us the greatest assurance that we have had that Iran will not pursue a weapon covertly.” Addressing critics of the agreement, Kerry stated that “those who spend a lot of time suggesting that something could be better have an obligation to provide an alternative that, in fact, works” and that “sanctioning Iran until it capitulates makes for a powerful talking point and a pretty good political speech, but it’s not achievable outside a world of fantasy.” Kerry also stated that “we are under no illusions that the hard work is over. No one is standing here today to say that the path ahead is easy or automatic. We move now to a new phase – a phase that is equally critical and may prove to be just as difficult – and that is implementation.”
- Republicans lined up against the deal. The candidates for the Republican nomination for president in 2016 uniformly condemned the deal; for example, Jeb Bushcalled the agreement “dangerous, deeply flawed, and short sighted” while Lindsey Graham asserted that the deal was a “death sentence for the state of Israel.” Former Obama advisor Daniel Pfeiffer tweeted that “none of these GOP contenders would end this Iran Deal if they got to the White House,” and that it would “massively damage US in the world.”
- Candidates for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016 welcomed the deal. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the agreement an “important step that puts the lid on Iran’s nuclear programs”; Senator Bernie Sanders called it “a victory for diplomacy over saber-rattling” that “could keep the United States from being drawn into another never-ending war in the Middle East.”
- Speaker of the House John Boehner, a Republican, called the JCPOA a “bad deal.”
- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said “I’ve closely examined this document. And it will have my strong support.” Pelosi said that the agreement was “the product of years of tough, bold, clear-eyed leadership on the part of President Obama” and called it “a strong, effective option, for keeping the peace and stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, opposed the agreement, saying “The comprehensive nuclear agreement announced today appears to further the flawed elements of April’s interim agreement because the Obama Administration approached these talks from a flawed perspective: reaching the best deal acceptable to Iran, rather than actually advancing our national goal of ending Iran’s nuclear program.”
- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, issued a brief statement on July 14 saying that the agreement was the result of years of hard work and that “now it is incumbent on Congress to review this agreement with the thoughtful, level-headed process an agreement of this magnitude deserves.” On August 23, Reid endorsed the agreement, saying that the agreement “is the best path to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon” and that he would “do everything in my power to ensure that it stands.”
- Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, a Republican, pledged to hold hearings on the deal during the sixty-day congressional review period and said that he is “totally opposed to” the agreement. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker, another Republican, also opposed the deal, saying that he believed that the West had conceded too much.
- The New York Times editorial board wrote that the agreement “is potentially one of the most consequential accords in recent diplomatic history, with the ability not just to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon but also to reshape Middle East politics.” They wrote: “It would be irresponsible to squander this chance to rein in Iran’s nuclear program.”
From other countries
- Holy See
- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Israel is not bound by this deal with Iran, because Iran continues to seek our destruction, we will always defend ourselves.” Netanyahu called the deal a “capitulation” and “a bad mistake of historic proportions.” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely called the deal an “historic surrender” and said that Israel would “act with all means to try and stop the agreement being ratified”—indicating that it would try to use its influence to block the agreement in the U.S. Congress, Naftali Bennett, leader of the Bayit Yehudi party (which is a member of the government coalition), said: “The history books have been rewritten again today, and this period will be deemed particularly grave and dangerous.”
- Most of Israel’s other political figures were similarly critical of the agreement. Netanyahu’s main political opponent, Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog opposed the deal, stating that it “will unleash a lion from the cage” and make Iran “a nuclear-threshold state in a decade or so”; another Zionist Union member of theKnesset, Shelly Yachimovich, called the JCPOA a “dangerous, damaging agreement” Yair Lapid, head of the opposition Yesh Atid party, called the agreement “Israel’s biggest foreign policy failure since the establishment of the state.” At the same time, many of these figures also criticized Netanyahu’s diplomatic campaign against the plan, calling it ineffectual and counter-productive. Yachimovich said that Netanyahu should “immediately cease and desist from confronting the Americans.” Lapid called on the prime minister to resign, stating: “I also am not thrilled by Obama’s polices. But Netanyahu crossed a line that caused the White House to stop listening to Israel. In the last year we weren’t even in the arena, we had no representative in Vienna, our intelligence cooperation was harmed, and the door to the White House was closed to us.”
- The head of the opposition Yisrael Beiteinu party, Avigdor Lieberman, described the agreement as a “surrender to terror.”
- Zehava Gal-On, head of the opposition Meretz party, voiced cautious support for the JCPOA, writing, “The agreement is not perfect, it does not turn Iran into lovers of Israel all of the sudden, but it does aim to prevent Iran from obtaining a bomb, regulate the international mechanisms to monitoring it and allows the international community to act if the agreement is violated.”
- The Joint (Arab) List party of Arab Israeli MKs welcomed the agreement.
- Ami Ayalon, former head of the Israeli internal security service Shin Bet and former commander of the Israeli Navy, said that the agreement was “the best option” for Israel, saying that “When negotiations began, Iran was two months away from acquiring enough material for a [nuclear] bomb. Now it will be 12 months.” Ayalon said that opposition to the deal in Israel was “more emotional than logical.” Efraim Halevy, the director of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad from 1998 to 2002, wrote in support of the agreement in Yedioth Ahronoth, arguing that the JCPOA includes “components that are crucial for Israel’s security” and warning that a collapse of the agreement will leave Iran “free to do as it pleases.” Chuck Freilich, a former deputy national security adviser in Israel and current senior fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times arguing that the JCPOA is “a good deal for Israel” and that by avoiding the threat of a nuclear Iran, the agreement “will enable Israel to divert precious resources to more immediate threats” and to pressing domestic needs.
- Arab states of the Persian Gulf
- Kuwait: Sabah bin Ahmad Al-Sabah, the emir of Kuwait, congratulated all the nations involved in the negotiations and hoped the deal would lead to stability in the region.
- Oman: Oman welcomed the agreement. Oman and its leader, Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, were praised for its key role in the talks by diplomats and leaders from both Iran and the P5+1. Oman has good relations with both Iran and the United States and played a key role in the beginning of the talks; Oman offered to establish a back channel between Iran and the U.S. in 2009, and the first secret talks were held between U.S. and Iranian diplomats in July 2012 inMuscat.
- Qatar: The government welcomed the agreement as a “significant step” toward enhancing regional peace and stability.
- Saudi Arabia: On July 14, the official Saudi Press Agency released a statement attributed to an “official source” saying that “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always believed in the importance of reaching a deal regarding Iran’s nuclear program that ensures preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and at the same time includes a specific, strict and permanent mechanism for inspecting all sites—including military ones—along with a mechanism for rapidly and effectively re-imposing sanctions in case Iran violates the deal.” U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter said that Saudi Arabia approved of the international agreement, despite the fact that “the Saudis, along with other Sunni Arab countries in the Persian Gulf, view the predominantly Shiite Iran as a regional adversary.” The Saudis have undertaken a military campaign in Yemen against Iranian-backed Houthi insurgents there.
- Elsewhere in the Muslim world
- Afghanistan: Afghan president Mohammad Ashraf Ghani congratulated “the government and people of Islamic Republic of Iran on the occasion and reiterates that the government of Afghanistan welcomes any efforts that result in expansion of political and economic relations between states as well as consolidation and strengthening of peace and stability in the region.”
- Egypt: The Egyptian foreign ministry said the deal will prevent an arms race in the Middle East. The statement expressed hopes that the Middle East can be free of all weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons.
- Iraq: The Iraqi government applauded the agreement.
- Pakistan: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs “welcomed” the agreement, saying that “reciprocal confidence-building measures … auger well for peace and security in our region.” Former President Asif Ali Zardari welcomed the deal as “a triumph of diplomacy and negotiations over coercion and hostility” and called upon the government to push forward with plans for construction of an Iran–Pakistan gas pipeline.
- Turkey: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the agreement in a statement saying that its implementation would contribute to regional peace, security and stability. Observers noted that although Turkey would benefit economically from the lifting of sanctions in the future, Turkish officials seemed to be “uneasy” of the potential for Iran to reemerge as a regional power that might overshadow Turkey.
- Syria: President Bashar al-Assad, an Iranian ally, called the agreement as “a great victory” and wrote in a letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian supreme leader, that the agreement would be a “major turning point in the history of Iran, the region and the world.”
- Other countries
- Australia: Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop endorsed the agreement, saying: “What it has done is [bring] Iran into the international regime of inspections of nuclear programs, and that is a good thing. I think we have to give this comprehensive plan a chance.”
- Canada: Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson stated: “We appreciate the efforts of the P5+1 to reach an agreement. At the same time, we will continue to judge Iran by its actions not its words. To this end, Canada will continue to support the efforts of the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor Iran’s compliance with its commitments.” The Globe and Mail reported that Canada would keep its sanctions in place, at least initially, although Canada’s own sanctions will have little impact on the Iranian economy.
- Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos applauded the agreement as “another triumph of diplomacy over confrontation” and praised President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry for their “courage” in securing the deal.
- North Korea: The Foreign Ministry said that North Korea had no interest in a nuclear disarmament agreement, saying: “We do not have any interest at all on dialogue for unilaterally freezing or giving up our nukes.”
- Norway: In a statement, Foreign Minister Børge Brende said: “This historic agreement will benefit the international community, the Middle East and Iran. It will also pave the way for closer political and economic contact with Iran.”
- Philippines: The Department of Foreign Affairs welcomed the agreement, saying that it was an important measure to promote both regional and global security. They also called on the international community to maintain the positive momentum for long-term peace created by the agreement.
From international organizations
- United Nations
- Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon issued a statement saying: “I warmly welcome the historic agreement in Vienna today and congratulate the P5+1 and Iran for reaching this agreement. This is testament to the value of dialogue. … The United Nations stands ready to fully cooperate with the parties in the process of implementing this historic and important agreement.”
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – Director General Yukiya Amano welcomed the agreement and congratulated Iran, the P5+1 countries and the European Union and said he is confident that IAEA is capable of doing the necessary monitoring and verification activities when requested.
- Other international organizations and figures
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called the agreement a “historic breakthrough” and stated: “It is critical for Iran to implement the provisions of today’s agreement and to fulfill all its international obligations and advance security in the region and beyond.”
- Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby said he hoped the JCPOA would bring “stability and security” to the Middle East.
- Gulf Cooperation Council – The Gulf Cooperation Council publicly announced backing for the agreement at an August 2, 2015 summit in Doha, Qatar.Khalid al-Attiyah, the foreign minister of Qatar (which currently chairs the GCC) said at a news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Kerry following the summit that “This was the best option amongst other options in order to try to come up with a solution for the nuclear weapons of Iran though dialogue, and this came up as a result of the efforts exerted by the United States of America and its allies. [Secretary Kerry] let us know that there’s going to be a kind of live oversight for Iran not to gain or to get any nuclear weapons. This is reassuring to the region.”
- Association of Southeast Asian Nations – On August 6, 2015, following the 5th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the foreign ministers of the 10 ASEAN nations, along with the foreign ministers of India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, endorsed the deal, welcoming it as an “important resolution” to a pressing global concern. Shortly before the joint ASEAN statement was released, U.S. Secretary of State Kerry met Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida inKuala Lumpur to mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
- Mohamed ElBaradei, former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, hailed the agreement as a triumph of diplomacy.
- The International Crisis Group called the deal “a triumph of nuclear diplomacy” and urged both the United States Congress and Iranian Majlis to approve it.
The reception of the JCPOA among arms control analysts was “overwhelmingly positive,” while the reception among Middle East policy analysts was more divided.The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists invited top international security experts to comment on the final agreement.
- Arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, reviewed the final agreement and gave it a positive assessment, saying that he would give it an “A” grade. While Lewis was skeptical about the chances of a workable deal emerging in 2014, during the negotiations, Lewis said that the final agreement was “a good deal because it slows down [the Iranian] nuclear program … And it puts monitoring and verification measures in place that mean if they try to build a bomb, we’re very likely to find out, and to do so with enough time that we have options to do something about it. There’s a verifiable gap between their bomb option and an actual bomb. That’s why it’s a good deal.” Lewis said that the final agreement was very similar to the April 2015 framework agreement. Lewis does not believe that the agreement will fundamentally alter the U.S.-Iranian relationship, seeing the agreement instead as “a really straightforward measure to slow down an enrichment program that was going gangbusters.”
- Lawrence Korb and Katherine Blakeley, senior fellow and policy analyst, respectively, at the Center for American Progress, wrote that the agreement was “one of the most comprehensive and detailed nuclear arms agreements ever reached.” Korb and Blakeley wrote that “a good look at the three main legs of the agreement shows that this deal is, in fact, a good one, for the United States and for the international community.” Korb and Blakey said that the agreement “precludes Iranian development of a nuclear weapon by shutting down all of the pathways Iran might use to accumulate enough nuclear material to make a weapon” and praised components of the agreement which keep Iran subject to the constraints of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, provides for robust IAEA monitoring and verification, and links the phased lifting of nuclear-related sanctions to IAEA verification of Iranian compliance.
- Frank von Hippel, senior research physicist and professor of public and international affairs emeritus at the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University, wrote that “The July 14 agreement is a political miracle” in which “Iran has agreed to back away from the nuclear-weapon threshold in exchange for a lifting of nuclear-related sanctions.” Von Hippel wrote that “The Obama administration argues—and I agree—that the ratcheting back of Iran’s enrichment capacity will give the world a much longer warning time should Iran attempt to build a bomb.” Von Hippel suggested that once the first ten years of the agreement were complete, “One option that should be explored is multinational ownership and management of Iran’s enrichment complex by a group of countries—perhaps including the United States.”
- Fred Fleitz, former CIA nonproliferation analyst and currently of the Center for Security Policy, wrote that “The provisions of this agreement . . . contains minor concessions by Iran but huge concessions by the United States that will Iran to continue its nuclear program with weak verification provisions. Conditions for sanctions relief will be very easy for Iran to meet. Iran will not only continue to enrich uranium under the agreement, it will continue to develop advanced centrifuges that will reduce the timeline to an Iranian nuclear bomb.”
- William H. Tobey, senior fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, was critical of the agreement, writing that given Iranian hostility to the U.S. and Israel, the agreement provides little “more than a speed bump on the path to Iran’s nuclear ambition.” Tobey wrote that that “speed bump” is not “a good trade for at least $150 billion in sanctions relief.”
- Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, said that although the JCPOA is “not perfect,” it “will be a net plus for nonproliferation and will enhance U.S. and regional security.” Reif wrote that it was “clear that Tehran had to retreat from many of its initial demands, including in the areas of the scale of uranium enrichment it needed, the intrusiveness of inspections it would tolerate, and the pace of sanctions relief it would demand.” Reif also wrote that the JCPOA “will keep Iran further away from the ability to make nuclear weapons for far longer than the alternative of additional sanctions or a military strike possibly could,” and as a result, the threat of regional proliferation throughout the Middle East was diminished.
- Siegfried S. Hecker of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University wrote that “the Iran nuclear deal was hard-won and is better than any other reasonably achievable alternative.” Hecker wrote that “Iran agreed to considerably greater restrictions on its program than what I thought was possible.”Hecker’s view is that it is “imperative that the international community develops a credible and decisive response in the event of an Iranian violation of the agreement.” He noted that “this agreement was one of the most technically informed diplomatic negotiations I have seen,” with both sides advised by “world-class nuclear scientists”: U.S. Secretary of State Kerry by U.S. Secretary of Energy Moniz, and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif by Atomic Energy Organization of Iran chief Ali-Akbar Salehi.
- Zia Mian of the Program on Science & Global Security at Princeton University wrote that the JCPOA offers three “important lessons for those wanting to make progress towards nuclear disarmament and a more peaceful world.” The first lesson was that “nuclear diplomacy can work. But it requires hard political work of many kinds”; Mian praised both the “creative technical and policy analysis work from within and outside governments to create options for negotiators to find common ground” as well as “the patient grassroots work to engage and mobilize public constituencies that brought to power leaders in the United States and in Iran willing to engage with each other and to take risks for a more peaceful relationship between their countries.” The second lesson was that “International nuclear politics is bound to domestic politics, for good and ill. The Iran agreement has come despite determined hostility from conservatives within the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, and Iran. Seeing the world as a hierarchy shaped by power and fear, and locked in rigid, exclusivist national or religious identities, they press for advantage and privilege or to maintain the status quo. Sharing a propensity for mistrust, coercion, and violence, they would risk war with those they see as enemies rather than try dialogue and possible agreement on a peaceful future based on the ideals of equity and respect for others. These opponents will derail the Iran deal if they can.”The third lesson is that “nuclear disarmament issues do not exist in isolation”; Mian called for more foreign minister-level talks in the Middle East, rather than expanded U.S. military assistance in the region.
- U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist and former professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who advised the U.S. on the agreement, stated that the JCPOA helps put Iran further from a nuclear weapon not only in the first fifteen years, with “lots of very, very explicit constraints on the program that roll back current activities,” but also beyond that period, because the agreement commits Iran to join the Additional Protocol. Former IAEA Deputy Director Olli Heinonen and former Iraq weapons inspector David Albright expressed concerns with the length of a review process for inspecting undeclared facilities, stating that a delay up to a maximum of 24 days was too long. Heinonen said that “it is clear that a facility of sizable scale cannot simply be erased in three weeks’ time without leaving traces,” but said there was a risk that the Iranians could hide small-scale work, such as creating uranium components of a nuclear weapon, particularly because they have experience with cheating. Albright said that activities on “a small scale,” such as experiments with high explosives or a small plant to make centrifuges operation could possibly be cleared out in 24 days. Former U.S. State Department official Robert J. Einhorn, who took part in P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran from 2009 to 2013, said that “a limit shorter than 24 days would have been desirable,” but “it is probably the case that the greater the significance of a covert activity, the more difficult it will be to remove evidence of it in 24 days.” U.S. Energy Department officials said that if the Iranians attempted to conduct centrifuge test, uranium conversion, or other activities, contamination would be generated that is very difficult to conceal.
Public opinion surveys
United States (nationwide)
Public polling on the issue has yielded varied and sometimes contradictory results, depending on the question wording, whether the poll explains the provisions of the agreement, and whether an “undecided” option is offered. Polls have consistently shown polarization by party affiliation, with majorities of self-identified Democrats supporting the agreement and majorities of self-identified Republicans opposing it.
margin of error
|YouGov||U.S. adults||July 14–16||1000; ±3.9%||Support/oppose (major provisions described)||43% support, 30% oppose, 26% unsure|||
|Abt-SRBI for Washington Post/ABC News||U.S. adults||July 16–19||1,002; ±3.5%||Support/oppose (major provisions described)
Confidence that agreement will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons
|56% support, 37% oppose, 7% no opinion
35% very/somewhat confident, 64% not confident
|Pew Research Center||U.S. adults||July 14-20||2,002; ±2.5; 1,672; ±2.7%||Have you heard about agreement?
Support/oppose based on what you know (provisions not described)
|34% heard a lot, 44% heard a little, 22% have not heard
(Among those who have heard at least a little) 48% disapprove, 38% approve, 14% do not know
|Steven M. Cohen/Social Science Research Solutions for Los Angeles Jewish Journal||U.S. adults||July 16–20||505||Support/oppose (major provisions described)
Should Congress vote to approve or oppose the deal?
|28% support, 24% oppose, 48% don’t know enough to say
41% approve, 38% disapprove, 21% undecided.
|Steven M. Cohen/Social Science Research Solutions for Los Angeles Jewish Journal||Jewish Americanadults||July 16–20||501||Support/oppose (major provisions described)
Should Congress vote to approve or oppose the deal?
|47.5% approve, 27.6% oppose, 24.6% don’t know enough to say
53.6% approve, 34.7% oppose, 11.7% don’t know
|YouGov for The Economist||U.S. adults||July 18–20||1000; ±4.3%||Support/oppose (major provisions described)
Do you want your Senators to support or oppose the international agreement?
|15% strongly support, 26% tend to support; 16% tend to oppose; 17% strongly oppose; 16% not sure
45% support; 27% oppose; 27% not sure
|Public Policy Polling||U.S. registered voters||July 23–24||730; ±3.6%||Support/oppose (major provisions described)
Should Congress allow agreement to go forward or block it?
|35% strongly support; 19% somewhat support; 6% somewhat oppose; 32% strongly oppose; 8% not sure
54% go forward; 39% block; 7% not sure
|ORC for CNN||U.S. adults||July 22–25||1,017; ±3%||Should Congress approve or reject the deal?||44% approve; 52% reject; 5% no opinion|||
|Quinnipiac||U.S. registered voters||July 23–28||1,644; ±2.4%||Support/oppose (provisions not described)||28% support; 57% oppose; 15% don’t know/NA|||
|Public Opinion Strategies & Hart Research Associates for Wall Street Journal/NBC News||U.S. adults||July 26–30||500||Support/oppose (major provisions described)||35% support, 33% oppose, 32% do not know enough|||
|Anderson Robbins Research & Shaw & Company Research for Fox News||U.S. registered voters||August 11–13||1,008
|In you were in Congress, would approve or reject the deal?||31% approve, 58% reject, 10% don’t know|||
|ORC for CNN||U.S. adults||August 13–16||500
|Favor/oppose a hypothetical agreement (major provisions explained)||50% favor, 46% oppose, 4% no opinion|||
|ORC for CNN||U.S. adults||August 13–16||500
|Should Congress approve or reject the deal? (provisions not described)||41% approve, 56% reject, 2% no opinion|||
United States (specific communities)
- According to a Zogby Research Services poll for the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans, conducted May 20–31, 2015, 64% of Iranian Americans support the Iran deal, and 8 in 10 say it will improve Iran’s relations with the West.
- A poll of American Jewish adults conducted by GBA Strategies for J Street (which supports the agreement) from July 21–23 found that 60 percent of American Jews support the agreement. The poll found that: “There is broad support for the agreement, regardless of age, gender, region, Jewish organizational engagement, and awareness about the agreement.” The poll found that support was strong across every denomination except for Orthodox Jews, with 67% of Reform Jews in support, 63% of Jews of no particular denomination in support, and 55% of Conservative Jews in support.
- According to a Quinnipiac poll taken July 30–August 4, 43% of New York City voters oppose the agreement, while 36% support it; 42% said that the agreement would make the world less safe, while 40% said it will make the world more safe. Among Jewish voters in New York City, 33% support the agreement while 53% oppose it, and say 51% say the agreement will make the world less safe, while 37% say that the agreement will make the world more safe.
- According to a Public Policy Polling poll of New York City voters taken August 11-12, 58% of New York City voters support the Iran agreement, while 35% oppose it; 49% of New York City voters want their members of Congress to let the agreement go forward, while 33% want their members of Congress to block the agreement. The agreement achieved majority support from women and men; whites, African Americans, and Hispanics; and in every age group.
- According to a poll conducted from May 12–28, 2015 by the University of Tehran Center for Public Opinion Research, the independent, Toronto-based firmIranPoll.com, and the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, 57% of Iranians support the deal, whereas 15% opposed it.
- According to an Iranian government poll released August 6, 2015, 80%-88% of Iranians support the Iran deal, whereas 4% oppose it.
Incorporated into international law by the United Nations Security Council
On 15 July 2015, the American ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, circulated a fourteen-page draft to Council members. On 20 July 2015, the Security Council unanimously approved the fourteen-page resolution—United Nations Security Council resolution 2231—in a 15–0 vote. The resolution delays its official implementation for 90 days, to allow for the U.S. Congress’ consideration under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. The resolution lays out the steps for terminating sanctions imposed by seven past Security Council resolutions, but retains an arms embargo and ballistic missile technology ban. The resolution also did not affect the sanctions imposed separately by the United States and the European Union. The resolution also codifies the “snapback” mechanism of the agreement, under which all Security Council sanctions will be automatically reimposed if Iran breaches the deal.
Speaking immediately after the vote, Power told the Security Council that sanctions relief would start only when Iran “verifiably” met its obligations, and also called upon Iran “to immediately release all unjustly detained Americans,” specifically naming Amir Hekmati, Saeed Abedini, and Jason Rezaian, who are imprisoned in Iran, andRobert A. Levinson, who has been missing in the country.
Approved by European Union
On the same day that the Security Council approved a resolution, the European Union formally approved the JCPOA via a vote of the EU Foreign Affairs Council (the group of EU foreign ministers) meeting in Brussels. This sets into motion the lifting of certain EU sanctions, including those prohibiting the purchase of Iranian oil.The EU continues its sanctions relating to human rights and its sanctions prohibiting the export of ballistic missile technology. The approval by the EU was seen as a signal to the U.S. Congress.
Review period in the United States Congress
||The neutrality of this section is disputed. (August 2015)|
Under U.S. law, the JCPOA is in the form of an executive agreement. In contrast to treaties, which require two-thirds of the Senate to consent to ratification, executive agreements ordinarily require no congressional approval.[f]
Under the terms of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which was signed into law on May 22, 2015,[g] the agreement is undergoing a sixty-day review in the United States Congress. Under that Act, once all documents have been sent to the Capitol, Congress will have sixty days in which it can pass a resolution of approval, a resolution of disapproval, or do nothing. (The Act includes additional time beyond the sixty days for the president to veto a resolution and for Congress to take a vote on whether to override or sustain the veto.) President Obama has said he will veto any resolution of disapproval. Thus, Republicans will only be able to defeat the deal if they can muster the two-thirds of both houses of Congress needed to override a veto of any resolution of disapproval. This means that 34 votes in the Senate could sustain a veto and place the JCPOA into effect.
On July 19, 2015, the State Department officially transmitted to Congress the JCPOA, its annexes, and related materials.These documents include the Unclassified Verification Assessment Report on the JCPOA and the Intelligence Community‘s Classified Annex to the Verification Assessment Report. The sixty-day review period began the next day, July 20,and will end September 17. On July 30, Senator Ted Cruz introduced a resolution seeking a delay in the review period, arguing that the sixty-day congressional review under the Act should not begin until the Senate obtains a copy of all bilateral Iran-IAEA documents.
The international community has long sought a landmark diplomatic agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, and such an agreement was also a long-sought foreign-policy goal of the Obama administration.
In comments made in the East Room of the White House on 15 July 2015, President Obama urged Congress to support the agreement, saying “If we don’t choose wisely, I believe future generations will judge us harshly, for letting this moment slip away.” Obama stated that the inspections regime in the agreement was among the most vigorous ever negotiated, and criticized opponents of the deal for failing to offer a viable alternative to it. Obama stated: “If 99 percent of the world’s community and the majority of nuclear experts look at this thing and they say ‘this will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb,’ and you are arguing either that it does not … then you should have some alternative to present. And I haven’t heard that.” The same day, Obama made a case for the deal on the agreement in an interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. Obama stated:
|“||With respect to Iran, it is a great civilization, but it also has an authoritarian theocracy in charge that is anti-American, anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic, sponsors terrorism, and there are a whole host of real profound differences that we [have with] them… [T]heir argument was, ‘We’re entitled to have a peaceful nuclear program.’… You know, I have a lot of differences with Ronald Reagan, but where I completely admire him was his recognition that [we] were able to verify an agreement that [was negotiated] with the evil empire [the Soviet Union] that was hellbent on our destruction and was a far greater existential threat to us than Iran will ever be… I had a lot of disagreements with Richard Nixon, but he understood there was the prospect, the possibility, that China could take a different path. You test these things, and as long as we are preserving our security capacity — as long as we are not giving away our ability to respond forcefully, militarily, where necessary to protect our friends and our allies — that is a risk we have to take. It is a practical, common-sense position. It’s not naïve; it’s a recognition that if we can in fact resolve some of these differences, without resort to force, that will be a lot better for us and the people of that region.”||”|
Also on July 15, Vice President Joe Biden met with Senate Democrats on the Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill, where he made a presentation on the agreement.
On July 18, Obama devoted his weekly radio address to the agreement, stating that “this deal will make America and the world safer and more secure” and rebutting “a lot of overheated and often dishonest arguments about it.” Obama stated “as commander-in-chief, I make no apology for keeping this country safe and secure through the hard work of diplomacy over the easy rush to war.” On July 23, President Obama met in the White House Cabinet Room with about a dozen undecided House Democrats to speak about the agreement and seek their support.
The debate over the agreement has been marked by acrimony between the White House and with Republicans inside and outside of Congress. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said that under the agreement would cause “the Obama administration will become the leading financier of terrorism against America in the world.” Former GovernorMike Huckabee of Arkansas, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, called the president “naive” and repeatedly invoked the Holocaust, saying that the president’s policy would “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” This comparison was denounced by the Anti-Defamation League, the National Jewish Democratic Council, and various Israeli government officials. At a June 27 news conference, Obama specifically criticized Huckabee, Cruz, and Cotton, saying that such remarks were “just part of a general pattern we’ve seen that would be considered ridiculous if it weren’t so sad,” especially from “leaders in the Republican Party.” Obama stated that “fling[ing] out ad hominem attacks like that … doesn’t help inform the American people” and stated: “This is a deal that has been endorsed by people like Brent Scowcroft and Sam Nunn … historic Democratic and Republican leaders on arms control and on keeping America safe. And so when you get rhetoric like this, maybe it gets attention and maybe this is just an effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines, but it’s not the kind of leadership that is needed for America right now.”
On August 5, Obama gave a speech before an audience of around 200 at American University, marking a new phase in the administration’s campaign for the agreement. Obama stated: “Let’s not mince words: The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy and some form of war—maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon. How can we in good conscience justify war before we’ve tested a diplomatic agreement that achieves our objectives?” In his speech, Obama also invoked a speech made by John F. Kennedy at American University in 1963 in favor of the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Obama also said that the opponents of the agreement were the same people who created the “drumbeat of war” that led to the Iraq War and criticized “knee-jerk partisanship that has become all too familiar, rhetoric that renders every decision made to be a disaster, a surrender.”
New York Senator Chuck Schumer, a senior Democrat, made a different assessment of prospects for war by distinguishing between nuclear and non-nuclear aspects of the agreement. In each case he asked whether we are better off with the agreement or without it and his conclusion was: “… when it comes to the nuclear aspects of the agreement within ten years, we might be slightly better off with it. However, when it comes to the nuclear aspects after ten years and the non-nuclear aspects, we would be better off without it.” Then Schumer assessed the Iranian regime, saying, “Who’s to say this dictatorship will not prevail for another ten, twenty, or thirty years? To me, the very real risk that Iran will not moderate and will, instead, use the agreement to pursue its nefarious goals is too great.” And, finally, Schumer concluded: “I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power.”
In the same speech, Obama stated: “Just because Iranian hard-liners chant ‘Death to America‘ does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe. In fact, it’s those hard-liners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hard-liners chanting ‘Death to America’ who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus.” This statement was criticized by congressional Republican leaders. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called it “crass political rhetoric” that was a strategy to “Demonize your opponents, gin up the base, get the Democrats all angry, and rally around the president.” McConnell said “This is an enormous national security debate that the president will leave behind, under the Constitution, a year and a half from now, and the rest of us will be dealing with the consequences of it. So I wish he would tone down the rhetoric and let’s talk about the facts” and promised that Republicans would discuss the agreement respectfully in September. Republican Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of Foreign Relations Committee, asserted that the president was “trying to shut down debate by saying that those who have legitimate questions, legitimate questions — are somehow unpatriotic, are somehow compared to hardliners in Iran.” The president subsequently stood by his statement, with White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest calling it a “statement of fact” and the president saying in an interview, “Remember, what I said was that it’s the hard-liners in Iran who are most opposed to this deal. And I said, in that sense, they’re making common cause with those who are opposed to this deal here. I didn’t say that they were equivalent.” In the same interview, Obama said: “A sizable proportion of the Republicans were opposed before the ink was even dry on the deal.”
In comments made at the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado in July 2015, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that the JCPOA will improve the U.S.’s ability to monitor Iran, saying “[The agreement] puts us in a far better place in terms of insight and access” than no agreement. While Clapper remains “concerned about compliance and deceit,” but “pointed out that during the negotiation period [Iran] complied with rules” negotiated under the interim agreement (the Joint Plan of Action).
An intense public debate in the U.S. is taking place during the congressional review period. “Some of the wealthiest and most powerful donors in American politics, those for and against the accord,” became involved in the public debate, although “mega-donors” opposing the agreement have contributed substantially more money than those supporting it. From 2010 to early August 2015, the foundations of Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer, and Haim Saban contributed a total of $13 million (at least $7.5 million, at least $2.6 million, and at least $2.9 million, respectively) to advocacy groups opposing an agreement with Iran. On the other side, three groups lobbying in support of the agreement have received at least $803,000 from the Ploughshares Fund, at least $425,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and at least $68,500 fromGeorge Soros and his foundation. Other philanthropists and donors supporting an agreement include S. Daniel Abraham, Tim Gill, Norman Lear, Margery Tabankin, and Arnold Hiatt.
Many Iranian Americans, even those who fled repression in Iran and oppose the regime there, welcomed the JCPOA as a step forward. The National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Iranian American Bar Association, and other Iranian American organizations welcomed the JCPOA. The NIAC released a statement saying: “Our negotiators have done their job to win a strong nuclear deal that prevents an Iranian nuclear weapon, all the while avoiding a catastrophic war. Now is the time for Congress to do theirs. Make no mistake: if Congress rejects this good deal with Iran, there will be no better deal forthcoming and Congress will be left owning an unnecessary war.” NIAC created a new group, NIAC Action, to run advertisements supporting the agreement. NIAC also organized an open letter from 73 Middle East and foreign affairs scholars stating that “reactivating diplomatic channels between the United States and Iran is a necessary first step” to reduce conflict in the region, and that while “the nuclear deal will not automatically or immediately bring stability to the region … Ultimately, a Middle East where diplomacy is the norm rather than the exception will enhance U.S. national security and interests,” Signatories to the letter include John Esposito, Ehsan Yarshater, Noam Chomsky, Peter Beinart, John Mearsheimer, and Stephen Walt.
U.S. pro-Israel groups divided on the JCPOA. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee opposes the agreement, and formed a new 501(c)(4) group, Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, to run a television advertising campaign against the JCPOA. In August 2015, it was reported that AIPAC and Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran plan to spend between $20 million and $40 million on its campaign. From mid-July to August 4, 2015, AIPAC’s Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran spent more than $11 million running network television political advertisements opposing the agreement in 23 states, spending more than $1 million in the large states of California, Florida, New York, and Texas. In the first week of August, AIPAC said that it had 400 meetings with congressional offices as part of its campaign to defeat the agreement.
In contrast to AIPAC, another pro-Israel organization, J Street, supports the agreement, and plans a $5 million advertising effort of its own to encourage Congress to support the agreement. During the first week of August, J Street launched a $2 million, three-week ad campaign in support of the agreement, with television ads running in Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. From mid-July through early August, J Street reported having 125 meetings with congressional offices. J Street has also paid to fly prominent Israelis who support the agreement (including Amram Mitzna, a retired Israeli general, member of theKnesset, and mayor of Haifa) to the U.S. to help persuade members of Congress to support the agreement.
The group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) opposes the agreement and committed to spending more than $20 million on a national “TV, radio, print and digital campaign” against the agreement. After UANI announced its opposition, the group’s president and co-founder, nonproliferation expert Gary Samore, announced that he had concluded “that the accord was in the United States’ interest” and supported the agreement. Samore thus stepped down as president and was replaced by ex-Senator Joseph I. Lieberman. By August 20, UANI had released its third national television ad against the agreement.
Various other groups that have also run ad campaigns for or against the agreement. John R. Bolton‘s Foundation for American Security and Freedom has run advertisements against the agreement, as has “Veterans Against the Deal,” a group which does not disclose its donors. Various pro-agreement ads were run by MoveOn.org (which ran an ad with the title “Let Diplomacy Work” theme), Americans United for Change (which warned “They’re back – the Iraq war hawks are fighting the Iran deal, want more war” over photos of Bolton, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld), and Global Zero (which ran a humorous ad featuring actors Jack Black, Morgan Freeman, and Natasha Lyonne).
The New York-based Iran Project, a nonprofit led by former high-level U.S. diplomats and funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, along with the United Nations Association of the United States, supports the agreement. The Rockefeller fund has also supported the San Francisco-based Ploughshares Fund, which has spent several years marshaling support for an agreement.
On July 17, 2015, a bipartisan open letter endorsing the Iran agreement was signed by more than 100 former U.S. ambassadors and high-ranking State Department officials. The ex-ambassadors wrote: “If properly implemented, this comprehensive and rigorously negotiated agreement can be an effective instrument in arresting Iran’s nuclear program and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons in the volatile and vitally important region of the Middle East. In our judgment the [plan] deserves Congressional support and the opportunity to show it can work. We firmly believe that the most effective way to protect U.S. national security, and that of our allies and friends is to ensure that tough-minded diplomacy has a chance to succeed before considering other more costly and risky alternatives.” Among the signatories to the letter were Daniel C. Kurtzer, James Robert Jones, Frank E. Loy, Princeton N. Lyman, Jack F. Matlock, Jr., Donald F. McHenry, Thomas E. McNamara, and Thomas R. Pickering.
A separate public letter to Congress in support of the agreement from five former U.S. ambassadors to Israel from administrations of both parties, and three former Under Secretaries of State was released on July 26, 2015. This letter was signed by R. Nicholas Burns, James B. Cunningham, William C. Harrop, Daniel Kurtzer, Thomas R. Pickering, Edward S. Walker, Jr., and Frank G. Wisner. The former officials wrote: “We are persuaded that this agreement will put in place a set of constraints and monitoring measures that will arrest Iran’s nuclear program for at least fifteen years and assure that this agreement will leave Iran no legitimate avenue to produce a nuclear weapon during the next ten to fifteen years. This landmark agreement removes the threat that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose to the region and to Israel specifically.”
Another public letter to Congress urging approval of the agreement was signed by a bipartisan group of more than sixty “national-security leaders,” including politicians, retired military officers, and diplomats. This letter, dated July 20, 2015, stated: “We congratulate President Obama and all the negotiators for a landmark agreement unprecedented in its importance for preventing the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran…We have followed carefully the negotiations as they have progressed and conclude that the JCPOA represents the achievement of greater security for us and our partners in the region.” Among the Republicans who signed this letter are former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, former U.S. Trade Representative Carla Anderson Hills, and former Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum. Among the Democrats who signed the letter are former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; former Senate Majority Leaders George J. Mitchell and Tom Daschle, former SenatorCarl Levin, and former Defense Secretary William Perry. Also signing were former National Security Advisors Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft; Under Secretaries of State R. Nicholas Burns and Thomas R. Pickering; U.S. Ambassadors Ryan Crocker and Stuart Eizenstat; Admiral Eric T. Olson; Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy; and Assistant Secretary for Nonproliferation Robert Einhorn.
On August 8, 2015, 29 prominent U.S. scientists, mostly physicists, published an open letter endorsing the agreement. The letter, addressed to President Obama, says: “We congratulate you and your team on negotiating a technically sound, stringent and innovative deal that will provide the necessary assurance in the coming decade and more than Iran is not developing nuclear weapons, and provides a basis for further initiates to raise the barriers to nuclear proliferation in the Middle East and around the globe.” The letter also states that the agreement “will advance the cause of peace and security in the Middle East and can serve as a guidepost for future nonproliferation agreements.” The 29 signatories included “some of the world’s most knowledgeable experts in the fields of nuclear weapons and arms control,” many of whom have held Q clearances and have been longtime advisers to Congress, the White House, and federal agencies. Six Nobel Prize in Physics laureates signed the letter: Philip W. Anderson of Princeton University; Leon N. Cooper of Brown University; Sheldon L. Glashow of Boston University; David Gross of the University of California, Santa Barbara; Burton Richter of Stanford University; and Frank Wilczek of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Among the other scientists to sign are Richard L. Garwin (a nuclear physicist who played a key role in the development of the first hydrogen bomb and who was described by the New York Times as “among the last living physicists who helped usher in the nuclear age”); Siegfried S. Hecker (a Stanford physicist and the former director of Los Alamos National Laboratory); Rush D. Holt (a physicist and former U.S. Representative who is now the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science); Freeman Dyson (of Princeton), and Sidney Drell (of Stanford).
On August 11, 2015, an open letter endorsing the agreement signed by 36 retired military generals and admirals, entitled “The Iran Deal Benefits U.S. National Security: An Open Letter from Retired Generals and Admirals,” was released. The letter, signed by retired officers from all five branches of the U.S. armed services, said that the agreement was “the most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons,” and said that “If at some point it becomes necessary to consider military action against Iran, gathering sufficient international support for such an effort would only be possible if we have first given the diplomatic path a chance. We must exhaust diplomatic options before moving to military ones.” The signers included General James E. “Hoss” Cartwright of the Marine Corps, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; General Joseph P. Hoar of the Marine Corps, the former commander of the U.S. Central Command; and Generals Merrill McPeak andLloyd W. Newton of the Air Force. Other signers include Lieutenant Generals Robert G. Gard, Jr. and Claudia J. Kennedy; Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn; Rear Admirals Garland Wright and Joseph Sestak; and Major General Paul D. Eaton. This letter was answered on August 25, 2016, by a letter signed by 190 retired generals and admirals opposing the deal, with a letter arguing that “The agreement does not ‘cut off every pathway’ for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. To the contrary, it provides Iran with a legitimate pathway for doing exactly that simply by abiding by the deal.” This letter was organized by Leon A. “Bud” Edney; signers includedWilliam G. “Jerry” Boykin (deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence under President George W. Bush and now executive vice president of the Family Research Council) and John Poindexter and Richard Secord (known for their roles in the Iran-Contra affair). Retired Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni said that he had refused requests from both sides to sign their letters, saying to Time magazine: “I’m convinced that 90% of the guys who signed the letter one way or the other don’t have any clue about whether it’s a good or bad deal. They sign it because somebody’s asked them to sign it.”
On August 13, retired Senators Carl Levin of Michigan, a Democrat, and John Warner of Virginia, a Republican, co-wrote an op-ed in support of the agreement—entitled “Why hawks should also back the Iran deal”—published in Politico. Levin and Warner, both past chairmen of the Senate Armed Services Committee, argued that “If we reject the agreement, we risk isolating ourselves and damaging our ability to assemble the strongest possible coalition to stop Iran” in the event that military action was needed in the future. Levin and Warner wrote that “The deal on the table is a strong agreement on many counts, and it leaves in place the robust deterrence and credibility of a military option. We urge our former colleagues not to take any action which would undermine the deterrent value of a coalition that participates in and could support the use of a military option. The failure of the United States to join the agreement would have that effect.” On August 14, retired senators Richard Lugar of Indiana, a Republican, and J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana, a Democrat, also wrote in support of the agreement. In a column for Reuters, Lugar and Johnston argued that “Rejection of the agreement would severely undermine the U.S. role as a leader and reliable partner around the globe. If Washington walks away from this hard-fought multilateral agreement, its dependability would likely be doubted for decades.” They also wrote: “Tehran would be the winner of this U.S. rejection because it would achieve its major objective: the lifting of most sanctions without being required to accept constraints on its nuclear program. Iran could also claim to be a victim of American perfidy and try to convince other nations to break with U.S. leadership and with the entire international sanctions regime.”
On August 17, 2015, a group of 75 arms control and nuclear nonproliferation experts issued a joint statement endorsing the agreement. The statement says that “the JCPOA is is a strong, long-term, and verifiable agreement that will be a net-plus for international nuclear nonproliferation efforts” and that the JCPOA’s “rigorous limits and transparency measures will make it very likely that any future effort by Iran to pursue nuclear weapons, even a clandestine program, would be detected promptly, providing the opportunity to intervene decisively to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” The letter was organized through the nonpartisan Arms Control Association. Among the 75 signatories are the Valerie Plame and Joseph C. Wilson; former IAEA director-general Hans Blix; Morton H. Halperin; and experts from theBrookings Institution, Stimson Center, and other think tanks.
Foreign diplomats are also involved in the congressional debate. The Israeli ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer appeared on cable television shows to attack the agreement, while ambassadors from European nations, including Sir Peter Westmacott, the British ambassador to the United States, “came on to say the precise opposite.” Dermer also lobbied members of Congress on Capitol Hill against the agreement, while diplomats from France, Britain, and Germany made the rounds on Capitol Hill to advocate for the agreement. On August 4, P5+1 diplomats held “a rare meeting of world powers’ envoys on Capitol Hill” with about 30 Senate Democrats to urge support for the agreement, saying that “If Congress rejects this good deal, and the U.S. is forced to walk away, Iran will be left with an unconstrained nuclear program with far weaker monitoring arrangements, the current international consensus on sanctions would unravel, and international unity and pressure on Iran would be seriously undermined.”
Former Ambassador Dennis Ross, a longtime American negotiator in the Middle East, wrote that he was not yet convinced by either proponents or opponents of the agreement. Ross wrote that the U.S.’s should be focused on “deterring the Iranians from cheating” (e.g., by producing highly enriched uranium) after year fifteen of the agreement. Ross wrote that “President Obama emphasizes that the agreement is based on verification not trust. But our catching Iran cheating is less important than the price they know they will pay if we catch them. Deterrence needs to apply not just for the life of the deal.” As part of a deterrence strategy, Ross proposed transferring to Israel the U.S.’s Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) “bunker buster” bomb at some point before year fifteen of the agreement.
The Jewish American community was divided on the agreement. On August 19, 2015, leaders of the Reform Jewish movement, the largest Jewish denomination in the U.S., issued a lengthy public statement expressed a neutral position on the agreement. The statement, signed by the leaders of the Union for Reform Judaism,Central Conference of American Rabbis, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and Association of Reform Zionists of America, reflected what Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the URJ, called “deep divisions within the movement.” On August 20, 2015, a group of 26 prominent current and foreign American Jewish communal leaders published a full-page ad in the New York Times with a statement backing the agreement; signers included three former chairs of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations as well as former AIPAC executive director Tom Dine. Separately, a group of 340 rabbis organized by Ameinu issued a public letter to Congress on August 17, 2015, in support of the agreement, saying: “We, along with many other Jewish leaders, fully support this historic nuclear accord.” The signers were mostly Reform rabbis, but included at least 50 rabbis from the Conservative movement and at least one Orthodox rabbi. Prominent rabbis who signed this letter included Sharon Brous, Burton Visotzky, Nina Beth Cardin, Lawrence Kushner, Sharon Kleinbaum, and Amy Eilberg. Conversely, a group of 900 rabbis signed an open letter written by Kalman Topp and Yonah Bookstein in late August, calling upon Congress to reject the agreement. The Orthodox Union and American Jewish Committee also announced opposition to the agreement.
The Roman Catholic Church has expressed support for the agreement. In a July 14, 2015 letter to Congress, Bishop Oscar Cantú, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, stated that the JCPOA was “a momentous agreement” which “signals progress in global nuclear non-proliferation.” Cantú wrote that Catholic bishops in the U.S. “will continue to urge Congress to endorse the result of these intense negotiations because the alternative leads toward armed conflict, an outcome of profound concern to the Church.”
On August 25, 2015, a group of 53 Christian faith leaders from a variety of denominations sent a message to Congress urging them to support the agreement. The Christian leaders wrote: “This is a moment to remember the wisdom of Jesus who proclaimed from the Sermon on the Mount, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God’ (Matthew 5:9). … There is no question we are all better off with this deal than without it.” The letter was coordinated by a Quaker group, theFriends Committee on National Legislation. Signatories to the letter included Jim Wallis of Sojourners; John C. Dorhauer, general minister and president of the United Church of Christ; Shane Claiborne; Adam Estle of Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding; Archbishop Vicken Aykazian of the Armenian Orthodox Church; A. Roy Medley, the head of American Baptist Churches USA; the Reverend Paula Clayton Dempsey of the Alliance of Baptists, senior pastor Joel C. Hunter of Northland, A Church Distributed; and Sister Simone Campbell, a leader of the Catholic “Nuns on the Bus” campaigns.
Congressional committee hearings
A hearing on the JCPOA before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee took place on July 23, 2015. Secretary of State Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and Energy Secretary Moniz testified. Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the committee chairman, said in his opening statement that when the talks began the goal was to dismantle the Iranian nuclear program, whereas the achieved agreement codified “the industrialization of their nuclear program.” Corker, addressing Secretary of State Kerry, said, “I believe you’ve been fleeced” and “…what you’ve really done here is you have turned Iran from being a pariah to now Congress, Congress being a pariah.” Corker asserted that a new threshold in U.S. foreign policy was crossed and the agreement would “enable a state sponsor of terror to obtain sophisticated, industrial nuclear development program that has, as we know, only one real practical need.” The committee’s ranking Democratic member, SenatorBenjamin Cardin of Maryland, said he had many questions and his hope was that the answers will cause a debate “in Congress and the American people.” Democrats, led by Senator Barbara Boxer of California, expressed support for the agreement, with Boxer saying that criticisms by Republicans were “ridiculous,” “unfair,” and “wrong.” Corker and Cardin sent a letter to Obama saying the bilateral IAEA-Iran document should be available for Congress to review.
At the hearing Kerry, Lew, and Moniz “were unequivocal in their statements that the accord was the best that could be achieved and that without it, the international sanctions regime would collapse.” Kerry warned that if the United States would be “on our own” if it were to walk away from a multi-lateral agreement alongside the five global powers. Kerry stated that the belief that “some sort of unicorn arrangement involving Iran’s complete capitulation” could be achieved was “a fantasy, plain and simple.” The Washington Post reported that “Moniz emerged as the calm center of the proceedings, beginning his interjections with recitations of what he described as ‘facts,’ and mildly observing that Republican characterizations were ‘incorrect.'” Kerry, Lew, and Moniz faced “uniform animus of Republicans” at the hearing, with Republican senators giving “long and often scathing speeches denouncing what they described as a fatally flawed agreement and accusing the administration of dangerous naivete” and showing “little interest in responses” from the three cabinet secretaries. Washington Post reported on twelve issues related to the agreement over which the two sides disagreed at the hearing.
On July 28, Kerry, Moniz, and Lew testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Committee chairman Ed Royce, Republican of California, said in his opening statement that “we are being asked to consider an agreement that gives Iran permanent sanctions relief for temporary nuclear restrictions.” “Royce also said the inspection regime ‘came up short’ from ‘anywhere, anytime’ access to Iran’s nuclear facilities and criticized the removal of restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program and conventional arms.” The committee’s ranking member, Representative Eliot Engel, Democrat of New York, said he has “serious questions and concerns” about the agreement. Kerry, Lew, and Moniz spent four hours testifying before the committee. At the hearing, Kerry stated that if Congress killed the deal, “You’ll not only be giving Iran a free pass to double the pace of its uranium enrichment, to build a heavy-water reactor, to install new and more efficient centrifuges, but they will do it all without the unprecedented inspection and transparency measures that we have secured. Everything that we have tried to prevent will now happen.”
On July 29, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Kerry, Moniz, and Lew appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee in a three-hour hearing. Carter and Dempsey had been invited to testify by Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona, the chairman of the committee; Kerry, Moniz, and Lew attended the hearing at the invitation of the Pentagon. In his opening statement, McCain said that if this agreement failed and U.S. armed forces were called to take action against Iran, they “could be at greater risk because of this agreement.” He also asserted that the agreement may lead American allies and partners to fateful decisions and result in “growing regional security competition, new arms races, nuclear proliferation, and possibly conflict.” The committee’s ranking Democratic member, Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, said Congress had an obligation “to independently validate that the agreement will meet our common goal of stopping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon” and stated that “the agreement, no matter your position on it, is historic and, if implemented scrupulously, could serve as a strategic inflection point in the world’s relations with Iran, for international non-proliferation efforts, and for the political and security dynamics in the Middle East.”
Carter said the agreement prevented Iran from “getting a nuclear weapon in a comprehensive and verifiable way.” He assured the committee that the deal would not limit the U.S. to respond with military force if needed. In response to a question from McCain, Carter said he had “no reason to foresee” that the agreement would cause Iran’s threatening behavior to change more broadly, stating “That is why it’s important that Iran not have a nuclear weapon.” Dempsey offered what he described as a “pragmatic” view. He neither praised nor criticized the deal, but did testify that the agreement reduced the chances of a near-term military conflict between the U.S. and Iran. Dempsey said that the agreement works to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, but does not address other concerns about Iran’s malign activities in the region, ranging from “ballistic missile technology to weapons trafficking, to … malicious activity in cyberspace.” Dempsey testified that “Ultimately, time and Iranian behavior will determine if the nuclear agreement is effective and sustainable” and stated that he would continue to provide military options to the president. Senator Joni Ernst expressed disagreement with President Obama who stated that the choice was the Iran nuclear deal or war. When General Martin Dempsey testified that the U.S. had “a range of options” and he presented them to the president, Ernst said: “it’s imperative everybody on the panel understand that there are other options available.”
Under the JCPOA, Iran must submit a full report on its nuclear history before it can receive any sanctions relief. The IAEA has confidential technical arrangements with many countries as a matter of standard operating procedure. “Republican lawmakers refer to these agreements as ‘secret side deals’ and claim that the JCPOA hinges on a set of agreements no one in the administration has actually seen.” Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a Republican opponent of the agreement, said that Kerry had “acted like Pontius Pilate and “washed his hands, kicked it to the IAEA, knowing Congress would not get this information unless someone went out to find it.” On July 30, Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas introduced a resolution seeking a delay in the review period, arguing that “The 60-calendar day period for review of such agreement in the Senate cannot be considered to have begun until the Majority Leader certifies that all of the materials required to be transmitted under the definition of the term ‘agreement’ under such Act, including any side agreements with Iran and United States Government-issued guidance materials in relation to Iran, have been transmitted to the Majority Leader.” On August 5, Yukiya Amano, director general of the IAEA, spoke with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a closed briefing about two IAEA documents: an agreement on inspection protocols with Iran and an agreement with Iran regarding Iranian disclosure of its previous nuclear activity (known as Possible Military Dimensions). Following this briefing with Amano, Republican Senator Bob Corker, the committee chairman, told reporters: “The majority of members here left with far more questions than they had before the meeting took place” and “We can not get him to even confirm that we will have physical access inside of Parchin.” The committee’s ranking Democratic member, Senator Benjamin Cardin told reporters: “I thought today was helpful, but it was not a substitute for seeing the document.”
State Department spokesman John Kirby responded that “There’s no secret deals between Iran and the IAEA that the P5+1 has not been briefed on in detail” and stated “These kinds of technical arrangements with the IAEA are a matter of standard practice, that they’re not released publicly or to other states, but our experts are familiar and comfortable with the contents, which we would be happy to discuss with Congress in a classified setting.” The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation writes that: “The arrangement specifies procedural information regarding how the IAEA will conduct its investigation into Iran’s past nuclear history, including mentioning the names of informants who will be interviewed. Releasing this information would place those informants, and the information they hold, at risk.” Mark Hibbs of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Thomas Shea, a former IAEA safeguards official and former head of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, wrote that the charges of a “secret side deal” made by opponents of the agreement were a “manufactured controversy.” Hibbs and Shea noted: “The IAEA has safeguards agreement with 180 countries. All have similar information protection provisions. Without these, governments would not open their nuclear programs for multilateral oversight. So IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano was acting by the book on August 5 when he told members of Congress that he couldn’t share with them the details of [the] verification protocol the IAEA had negotiated with Iran as part of a bilateral ‘roadmap.'”David Albright, founder and president of the Institute for Science and International Security and a former IAEA nuclear inspector, stated that the demands for greater transparency regarding the agreement between Iran and IAEA “aren’t unreasonable” and that “Iran is a big screamer for more confidentiality. Nonetheless, if the IAEA wanted to make it more open, it could.” Albright also proposed that the U.S. “should clearly and publicly confirm, and Congress should support with legislation, that if Iran does not address the IAEA’s concerns about the past military dimensions of its nuclear programs, U.S. sanctions will not be lifted.”
Congressional support and opposition
Republican leaders vowed to attempt to kill the agreement as soon as it was released, even before classified sections were made available to Congress, and “Republican lawmakers raced to send out news releases criticizing it.” According to the Washington Post, “most congressional Republicans remained deeply skeptical, some openly scornful, of the prospect of relieving economic sanctions while leaving any Iranian uranium-enrichment capability intact.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, said the deal “appears to fall well short of the goal we all thought was trying to be achieved, which was that Iran would not be a nuclear state.”A New York Times news analysis stated that Republican opposition to the agreement “seems born of genuine distaste for the deal’s details, inherent distrust of President Obama, intense loyalty to Israel and an expansive view of the role that sanctions have played beyond preventing Iran’s nuclear abilities.” The Washington Postidentified twelve issues related to the agreement on which the two sides disagreed, including the efficacy of inspections at undeclared sites; the effectiveness of the snapback sanctions; the significance of limits on enrichment; the significance of IAEA side agreements; the effectiveness of inspections of military sites; the consequences of walking away from an agreement; and the effects of lifting sanctions.[h]
One area of disagreement between supporters and opponents of the JCPOA is the consequences of walking away from an agreement, and whether renegotiation of the agreement is a realistic option. Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, an opponent of the agreement, called for the U.S. government to keep sanctions in place, strengthen them, and “pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be.” Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, said that he believed that it was “hyperbole” to say that the agreement was the only alternative to war. President Obama, by contrast, argued that renegotiation of the deal is unrealistic, stating in his American University speech that “the notion that there is a better deal to be had. … relies on vague promises of toughness” and stated that “Those making this argument are either ignorant of Iranian society, or they are not being straight with the American people. … Neither the Iranian government, or the Iranian opposition, or the Iranian people would agree to what they would view as a total surrender of their sovereignty.” Obama also argued that “those who say we can just walk away from this deal and maintain sanctions are selling a fantasy. Instead of strengthening our position, as some have suggested, Congress’ rejection would almost certainly result in multi-lateral sanctions unraveling,” because “our closest allies in Europe or in Asia, much less China or Russia, certainly are not going to enforce existing sanctions for another five, 10, 15 years according to the dictates of the U.S. Congress because their willingness to support sanctions in the first place was based on Iran ending its pursuit of nuclear weapons. It was not based on the belief that Iran cannot have peaceful nuclear power.” Secretary of State Kerry has echoed these remarks, saying in July 2015 that the idea of a “‘better deal,’ some sort of unicorn arrangement involving Iran’s complete capitulation …. is a fantasy, plain and simple, and our intelligence community will tell you that.” Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, a supporter of the agreement wrote: “Some say that, should the Senate reject this agreement, we would be in position to negotiate a “better” one. But I’ve spoken to representatives of the five nations that helped broker the deal, and they agree that this simply wouldn’t be the case.”[i]
On July 28, 2015, Representative Sander M. Levin, Democrat of Michigan, the longest-serving Jewish member now in Congress, announced in a lengthy statement that he would support the JCPOA, saying that “the agreement is the best way” to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and that a rejection of the agreement would lead the international sanctions regime to “quickly fall apart,” as “sanctions likely would not be continued even by our closest allies, and the U.S. would be isolated trying to enforce our unilateral sanctions as to Iran’s banking and oil sectors.”
A key figure in the congressional review process is Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland, a Democrat who is the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Cardin took a phone call from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu opposing the agreement and participated in a private 90-minute session with Energy Secretary Moniz supporting the agreement. On July 21, Cardin said that if the agreement is implemented, the U.S. should increase military aid to Israel and friendly Gulf states.
On August 4, 2015, three key and closely watched Senate Democrats—Tim Kaine of Virginia (a Foreign Relations Committee member), Barbara Boxer of California (also a Foreign Relations Committee member), and Bill Nelson of Florida—announced their support for the agreement. In a floor speech that day, Kaine said that the agreement is “far preferable to any other alternative, including war” and that “America has honored its best traditions and shown that patient diplomacy can achieve what isolation and hostility cannot.” In a similar floor speech the same day, Nelson said that: “I am convinced [that the agreement] will stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon for at least the next 10 to 15 years. No other available alternative accomplishes this vital objective” and “If the U.S. walks away from this multinational agreement, I believe we would find ourselves alone in the world with little credibility.” Conversely, another closely watched senator, Chuck Schumer of New York, who is expected to make a bid to become Senate Democratic leader, announced his opposition to the agreement on August 6, writing that “there is a strong case that we are better off without an agreement than with one”
According to an Associated Press report, the classified assessment of the United States Intelligence Community on the agreement concludes that because Iran will be required by the agreement to provide international inspectors with “unprecedented volume of information about nearly every aspect of its existing nuclear program,” Iran’s ability to conceal a covert weapons program will be diminished. In an August 13 letter to colleagues, ten current and former Democratic members of the House Select Committee on Intelligence (including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff) referred to this assessment as a reason to support the agreement, writing that “We are confident that this monitoring and the highly intrusive inspections provided for in the agreement – along with our own intelligence capabilities – make it nearly impossible for Iran to develop a covert enrichment effort without detection.” The ten members also wrote “You need not take our word for it” and referred members to the classified assessment itself, which is located in an office in the Capitol basement and is available for members of Congress to read.
Upcoming congressional votes
The formal resolution of disapproval in the House was introduced by Representative Ed Royce, Republican of California, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and a vote in both the House and Senate is expected in September. A similar resolution of disapproval was introduced on July 16 by Representative Peter Roskam, Republican of Illinois, who announced on August 3 that he had obtained 218 cosponsors (a majority of the House). Roskam’s resolution “is not the formal disapproval measure that the House is expected to take up in September”; it is expected that it is the resolution by Royce, as the relevant committee chair, will be the one ultimately voted upon.
A resolution of disapproval is expected to pass, meaning that “the real challenge for the White House is whether they can marshal enough Democrats to sustain the veto.” Two-thirds of both houses (the House of Representatives and the Senate) are required to override a veto, meaning than one-third of either house (146 votes in the House, or 34 in the Senate) could sustain (uphold) President Obama’s veto of a resolution of disapproval.
The Washington Post maintains a “whip count” with senators’ expressed opinions. As of August 24, 33 senators were “yes or leaning yes”; 57 were “no or leaning no”; and 10 were unknown or unclear.
On August 20, 2015, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that House Democrats had the votes to uphold a veto of a resolution of disapproval To sustain a veto, Pelosi would need to hold only 145 of the 188 House Democrats; by August 20, about 60 House Democrats have publicly declared their support for the final agreement, and about 12 had publicly declared their opposition. In May 2015, before the final agreement was announced, 151 House Democrats signed in support for the broad outlines in the April framework agreement; none of those signatories have announced opposition to the final agreement.
Review period in Iran
On June 21, 2015, the Iranian Parliament decided to form a committee to study the JCPOA and to wait at least 80 days before voting on it. Foreign ministerMohammad Javad Zarif and Atomic Energy Organization of Iran chief Ali Akbar Salehi, defended the deal in Parliament on the same day. Although the Iranian constitution gives Parliament the right to cancel the deal, it was reported that this outcome is unlikely. The New York Times reported that “the legislators have effectively opted to withhold their judgment until they know whether the American Congress approves of the deal.”
In televised remarks made on July 23, 2015, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejected domestic criticism of the JCPOA from Iranian hardliners, “such as the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and its allies,” which “have criticized the accord as an invasive affront to the country’s sovereignty and a capitulation to foreign adversaries, particularly the United States.” In remarks described by the New York Times as “blunt” and uncharacteristically frank, Rouhani claimed a popular mandate to make an agreement based on his election in 2013 and warned that the alternative was “an economic Stone Age” brought on by sanctions which (as the Times described) have “shriveled oil exports and denied the country access to the global banking system.” On July 26, a two-page, top-secret directive sent to Iranian newspaper editors from Iran’s Supreme National Security Council surfaced online. In the document, newspapers are instructed to avoid criticism of the agreement and to avoid giving the impression of “a rift” at the highest levels of government. The BBC reported that the document appears to be aimed at constraining criticism of the JCPOA by Iranian hardliners.
Abbas Milani and Michael McFaul write that: “those [in Iran] supporting the deal include moderates inside the government, many opposition leaders, a majority of Iranian citizens, and many in the Iranian American diaspora—a disparate group that has rarely agreed on anything until now.” Within the government, Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who negotiated the agreement, “are now the most vocal in defending it against Iranian hawks.” Also vocally supporting the agreement are former presidents Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami and moderates within parliament. The agreement is also supported by most prominent opposition leaders, including Mir-Hossein Mousavi, a 2009 presidential candidate who is under house arrest for his role as a leader of the Green Movement.
Conversely, “the most militantly authoritarian, conservative, and anti-Western leaders and groups within Iran oppose the deal.” The anti-agreement coalition in Iran includes former president Ahmadinejad, known for his Holocaust denial and calls for the elimination of Israel; Fereydoon Abbasi (the director of the Iranian nuclear program during Ahmadinejad’s term); ex-nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili; and various conservative clerics and Revolutionary Guard commanders. This group has “issued blistering attacks on the incompetence of Iran’s negotiating team, claiming that negotiators caved on many key issues and were outmaneuvered by more clever and sinister American diplomats.”
In the Iranian media, the leading reformist newspapers, Etemad and Shargh, “continue to write approvingly of the negotiations and their outcome.” Conversely, the leading conservative paper Ettelaat has criticized the agreement. The most “bombastic and hard-line criticism of the deal” has come from Kayhan, which is edited byHossein Shariatmadari and closely associated with Khamenei, the supreme leader.
The agreement is supported by many Iranian dissidents, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate, human rights activist, and Iranian exile Shirin Ebadi, who “labeled as ‘extremists’ those who opposed the agreement in Iran and America.” Likewise, dissident journalist and former political prisoner Akbar Ganji expressed hope that “step-by-step nuclear accords, the lifting of economic sanctions and the improvement of the relations between Iran and Western powers will gradually remove the warlike and securitized environment from Iran.” Other dissidents opposed the agreement, citing the Iranian government’s human rights violations and the lack of religious and political freedom in the country. Dissidents opposing the agreement include Ahmad Batebi, Nazanin Afshin-Jam, and Roozbeh Farahanipour, who signed an open letter arguing that “more pressure should be applied to the regime, not less.”
Impacts and potential impacts
With the prospective lifting of some sanctions, the agreement is expected to have a significant impact on both the economy of Iran and global markets. The energy sector is particularly important, with Iran having nearly 10 percent of global oil reserves and 18 percent of natural gas reserves. Millions of barrels of Iranian oil may come onto global markets, lowering the price of crude oil. However, the impact will not be immediate, because Iran will not be able to implement measures that are needed to lift sanctions until the end of 2015. Technology and investment from global integrated oil companies are expected to increase capacity from Iran’s oil fields and refineries, which have been in “disarray” in recent years, plagued by mismanagement and underinvestment. Senior executives from oil giants Royal Dutch Shell,Total S.A, and Eni met with the Iranian oil minister in Vienna in June, the month before the JCPOA was announced, and have been seeking business opportunities in Iran.
The economic impact of a partial lifting of sanctions extends beyond the energy sector; the New York Times reported that “consumer-oriented companies, in particular, could find opportunity in this country with 81 million consumers,” many of whom are young and prefer Western products. Iran is “considered a strong emerging marketplay” by investment and trading firms.
In July 2015, Richard Stone wrote in the journal Science in July 2015 that if the agreement is fully implemented, “Iran can expect a rapid expansion of scientific cooperation with Western powers. As its nuclear facilities are repurposed, scientists from Iran and abroad will team up in areas such as nuclear fusion, astrophysics, and radioisotopes for cancer therapy.”
In August 2015, the British embassy in Tehran reopened almost four years after it was closed after protesters attacked the embassy in 2011. At a reopening ceremony, Hammond said that since Rouhani’s election as president, British-Iranian relations had went from a “low point” to steady “step-by-step” improvement. Hammond said: “Last month’s historic nuclear agreement was another milestone, and showed the power of diplomacy, conducted in an atmosphere of mutual respect, to solve shared challenges. Re-opening the embassy is the logical next step to build confidence and trust between two great nations.” The BBC‘s diplomatic correspondent, Jonathan Marcus, reported that the nuclear agreement “had clearly been decisive in prompting the UK embassy to be reopened,” stating that British-Iranian “ties have slowly been warming but it is clearly the successful conclusion of the nuclear accord with Iran that has paved the way for the embassy reopening.”
- Aerospace Force of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution
- Begin Doctrine
- Iran and weapons of mass destruction
- Timeline of the nuclear program of Iran
- Views on the nuclear program of Iran
- The P5+1 are also sometimes referred to as the “E3+3” (for the “EU three” countries (France, the UK, and Germany) plus the three non-EU countries (the U.S., Russia, and China)). Both terms are interchangeable. This article uses the “P5+1” phrase.
- The meaning of Article IV of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, and its application to Iran, is a matter of dispute. Gary Samore writes that “Whether the NPT guarantees signatories a right to enrichment is a long-standing dispute among the parties to the treaty.” Iran and other countries (such as Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Japan, and South Africa) assert that signatories to the NPT have a right to enrich uranium under Article IV of the NPT. Professor William O. Beeman of the University of Minnesota, as well as Henry D. Sokolski, executive director of theNonproliferation Policy Education Center, agree with this interpretation of the NPT.The U.S. position was unclear before 2006, but after that time the U.S. has taken the position that Iran does not have the right to uranium enrichment because this activity is not specifically cited in the NPT. In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in October 2013, Sherman stated that the “the U.S. position that that article IV of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty does not speak about the right of enrichment at all [and] doesn’t speak to enrichment, period. It simply says that you have the right to research and development. And many countries such as Japan and Germany have taken that [uranium enrichment] to be a right. But the United States does not take that position. … We do not believe there is an inherent right by anyone to enrichment.” The U.S. officials has also made the additional argument that whatever Iran’s rights under the NPT might be, they were superseded by a series of UN Security Council resolutions demanding “that Iran suspend enrichment and reprocessing activities until ‘confidence is restored in the purely peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.'” U.S. Secretary of State Kerry has said: “We do not recognize a right to enrich. It is clear … in the nonproliferation treaty, it’s very, very (clear) that there is no right to enrich. [The Iranians] have the ability to negotiate it, but they could only gain that capacity to have some enrichment as some countries do, if they live up to the whole set of terms necessary to prove its a peaceful program.” In March 2011 testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed a similar position, indicating that Iran should be permitted to enrich uranium under IAEA supervision once the international concerns over its nuclear program are resolved.
- At the same time that the JCPOA was agreed to, Iran and the IAEA signed a separate document, the Roadmap for Clarification of Past and Present Outstanding Issues. The roadmap includes “the provision by Iran of explanations regarding outstanding issues” and provides “for technical expert meetings, technical measures and discussions, as well as a separate arrangement regarding the issue of Parchin,” an Iranian military research and development site. “The specific measures that Iran is committed to take with respect to technical expert meetings and discussions and access to Parchin are contained in two separate documents between Iran and the IAEA that are not public.” On August 19, 2015, the Associated Press reported that an anonymous official had given the AP an unsigned, preliminary draft of one of the confidential bilateral IAEA-Iran agreements. This draft indicated that Iran would be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate the Parchin site. (The AP reported that two anonymous officials officials had told it that the draft does not differ from the final, confidential agreement between the IAEA and Iran). The AP said that the draft “diverges from normal procedures.” Several hours after posting the article, the AP removed several details of the story (without issuing a formal retraction), and published another article that noted that “IAEA staff will monitor Iranian personnel as they inspect the Parchin nuclear site.” The AP restored the contentious details the next morning and said it was standing by its entire story. It further published the full document it had transcribed. The following day, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano issued a statement stating: “I am disturbed by statements suggesting that the IAEA has given responsibility for nuclear inspections to Iran. Such statements misrepresent the way in which we will undertake this important verification work … the arrangements are technically sound and consistent with our long-established practices. They do not compromise our safeguards standards in any way. The Road-map between Iran and the IAEA is a very robust agreement, with strict timelines, which will help us to clarify past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear programme.” The IAEA did not elaborate on the provisions of the confidential agreement, but the Arms Control Association has noted that “under managed access procedures that may be employed the IAEA, the inspected party may take environmental swipe samples at a particular site in the presence of the IAEA inspectors using swabs and containment bags provided by the IAEA to prevent cross contamination. According to former IAEA officials, this is an established procedure. Such swipe samples collected at suspect sites under managed access would likely be divided into six packages: three are taken by the IAEA for analysis at its Seibersdorf Analytical Lab and two to be sent to the IAEA’s Network of Analytical Labs (NWAL), which comprises some 16 labs in different countries, and another package to be kept under joint IAEA and Iran seal at the IAEA office in Iran a backup and control sample if re-analysis might be required at a later stage. The process ensures the integrity of the inspection operation and the samples for all parties.” Mark Hibbs of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Thomas Shea, a former IAEA safeguards official and head of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory described a similar protocol in an article entitled “No, Iran is not allowed to inspect itself.” Hibbs and Shea wrote that the claims that Iran would be in charge of inspections at Parchin were “wholly specious” and “unfounded.” Arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis of the Monterey Institute of International Studies stated that the procedures referred to in the AP report were consistent with expert practice: “There are precedents for just providing photos and videos. When the South Africans disabled their nuclear test shaft, they video-recorded it and sent the IAEA their video. I don’t care who takes a swipe sample or who takes a photograph, so long as I know where and when it was taken, with very high confidence, and I know that it hasn’t been tampered with.” Lewis expressed the opinion that “the point of the leak was to make the IAEA agreement on Parchin sound as bad as possible, and to generate political attention in Washington.”
- Ali Vaez, the senior analyst on Iran at the International Crisis Group, notes that breakout time is not precisely measurable and is “estimated rather than calculated,” depending on various assumptions and factors. Vaez notes that “Breakout estimates … usually assume that an Iranian dash for the bomb would face none of the technical challenges that have plagued the program over the past decade.”
- The extent to which the JCPOA is legally binding on the United States—i.e., whether a future president could lawfully repudiate the JCPOA once it goes into effect—is a matter of dispute. Legal scholars Bruce Ackerman of Yale Law School and David Golove of the New York University School of Law argue that the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 had the effect of making the agreement (once implemented) into a congressional-executive agreement. Golove states that the president cannot “ignore commitments [made by him or by a past president] in congressional-executive agreements without congressional authority to do so,” and believes that the agreement is binding under international law, irrespective of any White House declaration, because it contains no provision saying otherwise.Ackerman agrees, arguing that “Presidents do not have the power to repudiate congressional-executive agreements without strictly following the procedures laid out by Congress in its original authorizing legislation.” Others, such as Michael Ramsey of the University of San Diego School of Law, argue that unless Congress expressly approves of the agreement via a resolution of approval (which is unlikely), the agreement is nonbinding under domestic law, so that “this president can implement to the extent of his statutory and constitutional authority [and] future presidents can refuse to follow.” Ramsey points out, however, that even if the agreement is a nonbinding executive agreement under domestic law, it may still be binding under international law, since domestic invalidity is not a defense to failure to follow an international agreement.
The position of the U.S. government is different. Secretary of State Kerry stated in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that “with respect to the talks, we’ve been clear from the beginning. We’re not negotiating a, quote, ‘legally binding plan.’ We’re negotiating a plan that will have in it a capacity for enforcement.” (Kerry also said that a future president is, as a practical matter, unlikely to “turn around and just nullify it” given the international agreement from the other P5+1 powers.) Several legal scholars support this argument. John B. Bellinger III argues: “The next president will have the legal right under both domestic and international law to scrap the JCPOA and reimpose U.S. nuclear sanctions on Iran.” Bellinger states that “such an action would be inconsistent with political commitments made by the Obama administration” and would likely cause a major rift with U.S. allies and Iran to resume its nuclear activities,” but that “would not constitute a violation of international law, because the JCPOA is not legally binding.” Orde Kittrie of Arizona State University similarly writes that the JCPOA is a kind of “nonbinding, unsigned political” agreement considered “more flexible than treaties or other legally binding international agreements.”
- The “vast majority of international agreements” negotiated by the United States, especially in recent decades, have been executive agreements, rather than treaties. In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court held in American Insurance Association v. Garamendi that “our cases have recognized that the President has authority to make ‘executive agreements’ with other countries, requiring no ratification by the Senate or approval by Congress, this power having been exercised since the early years of the Republic.” Various opponents of the JCPOA, including David B. Rivkin Jr., Lee A. Casey, and Michael Ramsey have criticized the form of the agreement, arguing that it should be considered a treaty rather than an executive agreement. Other commentators disagree; the constitutionality of the executive agreement form of the JCPOA has been defended by Jack Goldsmith, who called arguments for the illegality of the agreement “weak,” and by John Yoo, who wrote that the executive agreement form of the JCPOA is consistent with the Treaty Clause of the Constitution.
- The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, Pub.L. 114–17, was an amendment to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. The act was passed by the Senate as S. 615 on May 7, 2015, in a 98-1 vote, and was passed by the House as H.R. 1191 on May 14, 2015, in a 400-25 vote, and was approved by President Obama on May 22, 2015.
- “Much of the criticism of the deal” from opponents in the U.S. Congress and from the Israeli government “derives from the fact that slowing and shrinking Iran’s nuclear program this way falls well short of the original diplomatic goal, which was to end entirely Iran’s ability to enrich uranium—the ‘zero enrichment’ goal.” Before the JCPOA, there was “a preference on the part of the United States and many of its allies for zero enrichment in Iran (indeed, opposition to the spread of any uranium enrichment capability to any additional countries has been long-standing U.S. policy and an important nonproliferation principle),” although “the potential to discuss with Iran the conditions under which it could continue enrichment is not new” and was “built into the proposals that the P5+1 have offered Iran since 2006, spanning the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations.”
Some commentators, such as Michael Singh of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (writing in 2013), argued for a “zero enrichment” approach: i.e., that no agreement contemplating any enrichment by Iran should be made. This was also the position of Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, who introduced the Nuclear Weapons Free Iran Act, a proposed bill (not enacted) which would require that Iran reduce its uranium enrichment to zero before an agreement is made.
Other commentators have said that “zero enrichment” has long been an implausible goal, including R. Nicholas Burns of Harvard’s Belfer Center, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and leading figure on Iranian nuclear matters during the second Bush administration, said that this was implausible given that Iran has 19,000 centrifuges, stating: “If I could get an ideal solution, or you could, where the Iranians submitted to every demand we had, I would take that. In a real world, you have to make real-world decisions.” Similarly, Michael A. Levi of the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations argued in the August–September 2011 edition of the journal Survival that “it is far from clear that zero enrichment is a realistic goal” and stated that “the goal of current US policy, even if it is not typically articulated this way,” is “limited enrichment, in which Iran has some non-trivial enrichment capability, but is unable to produce a bomb (or small arsenal) without risking strong international retaliation, including military destruction of its enrichment infrastructure.” Similar arguments have been advanced by Mark Jansson, adjunct fellow at the Federation of American Scientists (who wrote in October 2013 in The National Interest that “there is nothing clear-eyed or realistic about the demand for zero enrichment” and “nor is it technically necessary” to prevent proliferation) and George Perkovich, director of the Nonproliferation Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (who argued in January 2014 inForeign Affairs that “the complete elimination of Iran’s nuclear fuel cycle program” is not “an achievable goal” and what is needed is “not the cessation of Iran’s nuclear enrichment but its capacity to create a nuclear weapon quickly”).
- Scholars differ on whether a “better deal” from the American point of view is realistic.Stephen M. Walt of Harvard, writing an article entitled “The Myth of the Better Deal” inForeign Policy magazine, argued that the idea of an achievable better deal is “magical thinking” that is at odds with the facts and “ignores Diplomacy 101.” Albert Carnesale of Harvard’s Belfer Center wrote that “there is no real alternative that would serve the interests of the United States and our allies and friends as well as the deal that is now before Congress. A ‘better deal’ is unachievable; a military solution is unrealistic (and probably would be counterproductive); and an international agreement without U.S. participation is less attractive than an agreement in which the U.S. has a strong voice in resolving of issues that might arise.” Conversely, Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy argues that “a better deal with Iran is possible,” and that congressional rejection of the agreement would not immediately result in the collapse of the JCPOA or military action, and law professor Orde Kittrie of Arizona State University argued that Congress could send the JCPOA back for renegotiation.
- Joshua Keating, You say P5+1, I say E3+3, Foreign Policy (September 30, 2009).
- Jeffrey Lewis, E3/EU+3 or P5+1, Arms Control Wonk (July 13, 2015).
- Holdren, John; Matthew Bunn (1997). “MANAGING MILITARY URANIUM AND PLUTONIUM IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE FORMER SOVIET UNION”(PDF). Annual Review of Energy and the Environment 22: 403–496.doi:10.1146/annurev.energy.22.1.403. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- Barnaby, Frank. Frank Barnaby and Douglas Holdstock, eds. “Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Retrospect and Prospect”. p. 25.
- Matthew Bunn and John P. Holdren. “Managing military uranium and plutonium in the United States and the Former Soviet Union” (PDF). pp. 403–409.
- Union of Concerned Scientists. “Weapon Materials Basics (2009)”.
- Jonas Schneider & Oliver Thränert, Dual Use: Dealing with Uranium Enrichment, CSS Analyses in Security Policy, No. 151 (April 2014).
- Country Profiles: Iran: Nuclear, Nuclear Threat Initiative (last updated July 2015).
- Iran nuclear talks: ‘Historic’ agreement struck, BBC News (July 14, 2015).
- Iran nuclear talks: timeline, Guardian (July 14, 2015).
- Hadley, Stephen. “Iran Primer: The George W. Bush Administration”.
- Paul K. Kerry, Iran’s Nuclear Program: Tehran’s Compliance with International Obligations, Congressional; Research Service (June 25, 2015).
- Daniel Politi, Does Iran Deal Include Right to Enrich Uranium? Depends on Whom You Ask, Slate (November 24, 2013).
- Fredrik Dahl, Q&A: Is there a ‘right’ to enrich uranium? Iran says yes, U.S. no, Reuters (November 23, 2013).
- Gary Samore, Nuclear Rights and Wrongs: Why One Legal Term Stalled Negotiations With Iran, Foreign Affairs (November 14, 2013).
- William O. Beeman, Does Iran Have the Right to Enrich Uranium? The Answer Is Yes, Huffington Post (December 31, 2013).
- Kelsey Davenport, Myths and Misconceptions: The Right to Enrich, Arms Control Association (September 18, 2014).
- “A Growing Concern that Iran is Refusing to Live Up to Those International Responsibilities”.
- Daniel Dombey, Transcript of the Director General’s Interview on Iran and DPRK, Financial Times (February 19, 2007).
- Kenneth Katzman & Paul K. Kerr, Report: Iran Nuclear Agreement,Congressional Research Service (July 30, 2015).
- Laura Rozen, Three days in March: New details on how US, Iran opened direct talks, Al-Monitor (January 8, 2014).
- “Optimism as Iran nuclear deal framework announced; more work ahead”. CNN. 3 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
- Sciolino, Elaine. “Showdown at U.N.? Iran Seems Calm”.
- Timeline of Nuclear Diplomacy With Iran, Arms Control Association (July 2015).
- Anne Gearan and Joby Warrick (23 November 2013). “World powers reach nuclear deal with Iran to freeze its nuclear program”. The Washington Post. Retrieved 3 April2015.
- Frederick Dahl; Justyna Pawlak (3 April 2015). “West, Iran activate landmark nuclear deal”. Reuters. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Iran’s key nuclear sites, BBC (14 July 2015).
- Jethro Mullen & Nic Robertson, Landmark deal reached on Iran nuclear program, CNN (14 July 2015).
- Michael R. Gordon & David E. Sanger, Deal Reached on Iran Nuclear Program; Limits on Fuel Would Lessen With Time, The New York Times (14 July 2015).
- “Iran, world powers reach historic nuclear deal“, The Washington Post
- “IAEA Head Reports Status of Iran’s Nuclear Programme”. International Atomic Energy Agency. 20 January 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
- Louis Charbonneau and Parisa Hafezi (18 July 2014). “Iran, powers extend talks after missing nuclear deal deadline”. Reuters. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- Matthew Lee and George Jahn (24 November 2014). “Iran nuclear talks to be extended until July”. Associated Press. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- Pamela Dockins (30 June 2015). “Iran Nuclear Talks Extended Until July 7”. Voice of America. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
- Paul Richter (7 July 2015). “Iran nuclear talks extended again; Friday new deadline”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
- Karen DeYoung & Carol Morello, The path to a final Iran nuclear deal: Long days and short tempers, The Washington Post (15 July 2015).
- Jethro Mullen and Nic Robertson, CNN (14 July 2015). “Landmark deal reached on Iran nuclear program”. CNN.
- “European Union — EEAS (European External Action Service) – Joint statement by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif Vienna, 14 July 2015”. europa.eu.
- William J. Broad, Iran Accord’s Complexity Shows Impact of Bipartisan Letter, The New York Times (14 July 2015).
- Public Statement on U.S. Policy Toward the Iran Nuclear Negotiations Endorsed by a Bipartisan Group of American Diplomats, Legislators, Policymakers, and Experts, Washington Institute for Near East Policy (24 June 2015).
- George Perkovich, Mark Hibbs, James M. Acton, & Toby Dalton,  Parsing the Iran Deal], Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (August 8, 2015).
- “Iran nuclear deal: world powers reach historic agreement to lift sanctions”. The Guardian. 14 July 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- Making the world a bit safer: An imperfect deal that is better than the alternatives(chart), The Economist (July 18, 2015).,
- “The Iran Nuclear Deal: A Definitive Guide” (PDF). p. 6.
- Eric Bradner, What’s in the Iran nuclear deal? 7 key points, CNN (2 April 2015).
- Eyder Peralta, 6 Things You Should Know About The Iran Nuclear Deal, NPR (14 July 2015).
- Key Excerpts of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Office of the Press Secretary (14 July 2015).
- Press Availability on Nuclear Deal With Iran, U.S. Department of State (14 July 2015).
- “The odd reality of Iran’s centrifuges: Enough for a bomb, not power”.
- Resolution 2231, page 29
- Kagan, Frederick (15 July 2015). “Evaluating President Obama’s statements on the nuclear deal”. American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- Justin Fishel, Iran Nuclear Deal: A Look at the Winners and Losers, ABC News (14 July 2015).
- Resolution 2231, page 21-22
- Resolution 2231, page 21-24
- Factsheet: Iran and the Additional Protocol, Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation (July 14, 2015).
- The Iran Nuclear Deal: A Definitive Guide, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, pp. 43-44.
- George Jahn (19 August 2015). “AP Exclusive: UN to let Iran inspect alleged nuke work site”. Associated Press. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
- “Text of draft agreement between IAEA, Iran”.
- Max Fisher, The AP’s controversial and badly flawed Iran inspections story, explained, Vox (August 20, 2015).
- Tom Nichols. “Iran Deal Truthers”.
- Nasralla, Shadia. “IAEA says report Iran to inspect own military site is ‘misrepresentation'”.
- Kelsey Davenport & Daryl G. Kimball, Would the IAEA Depend on Iran for Nuclear Residue Testing? No., Arms Control Association (July 30, 2015).
- Mark Hibbs & Thomas Shea, No, Iran is not allowed to inspect itself, The Hill (August 21, 2015).
- Oren Dorell, High-tech scrutiny key to Iran nuclear deal, USA Today (16 July 2015).
- Ishaan Tharoor, How the nuclear deal can keep Iran from ‘cheating,’ according to a former U.N. inspector, The Washington Post (15 July 2015).
- Rebecca Kaplan, Obama says inspectors get access to “any” site in Iran. Is it true?, CBS News (14 June 2015).
- Tim Mak, The Spy Tech That Will Keep Iran in Line, The Daily Beast (7 July 2015).
- “The Iran nuclear accord: Making the world a bit safer”. The Economist. 18 July 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- Mohammed, Arshad (15 July 2015). “U.S., Iran finesse inspections of military sites in nuclear deal”. Reuters. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- Carol Morello & Karen DeYoung, Historic deal reached with Iran to limit nuclear program, The Washington Post (14 July 2015).
- Obama: Iran Will Face Longer ‘Breakout Time,’ Though Not Indefinitely, All Things Considered, NPR (August 11, 2015). See also Transcript: President Obama’s Full NPR Interview On Iran Nuclear Deal, NPR (April 7, 2015).
- Ali Vaez, Missing the point on Iran;s nuclear breakout time, International Crisis Group (republished by al-Jazeera America) (March 2, 2015).
- Factsheet: Longevity of Major Iran Nuclear Agreement Provisions, Center for Arms Control and Proliferation (July 14, 2015).
- Richard Nephew, Based on breakout timelines, the world is better off with the Iran nuclear deal than without it, Brookings Institution (July 17, 2015).
- Alan Kuperman. “The Iran deal is built on a lie”.
- Jessica Simeone & Anup Kaphle, Here Are The Highlights of the Iran Nuclear Agreement, Buzzfeed News (July 14, 2015).
- Ellie Geranmayeh, Explainer: The Iran nuclear deal, European Council on Foreign Relations (July 17, 2015).
- Timeline: Implementation of the Iran nuclear agreement, Reuters (14 July 2015).
- Nuclear Deal with Iran Establishes Plan for Sanctions Relief, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (August 11, 2015), p. 5 (“According to the JCPOA’s ‘Implementation Plan’ annex, Implementation Day occurs when two things happen ‘simultaneously’: (i) the ‘IAEA-verified implementation by Iran’ of certain nuclear-related measures; and (ii) the P5+1’s implementation of specified forms of sanctions relief, including the termination of previous UNSC sanctions on Iran pursuant to UNSC Resolution 2231.22 Implementation Day, the crucial starting point for sanctions relief, is expected to occur in the first half of 2016, although the JCPOA sets no specific date on which, or by which, it will necessarily take place.”)
- Jackie Northam, Lifting Sanctions Will Release $100 Billion To Iran. Then What?,All Things Considered, NPR (July 16, 2015).
- Bryan Bender, How the Pentagon got its way in Iran deal: Restrictions on advanced military weapons sales to Iran will remain in place for five to eight years, Politico (14 July 2015).
- Felicia Schwartz, When Sanctions Lift, Iranian Commander Will Benefit, The Wall Street Journal (15 July 2015).
- Elizabeth Whitman, What Sanctions Against Iran Won’t Be Lifted? Bans For Terrorism Support, Human Rights Abuses To Remain Intact, International Business Times (14 July 2015).
- Ankit Panda, How the Iran Deal’s ‘Snap Back’ Mechanism Will Keep Tehran Compliant, The Diplomat (15 July 2015.
- Jackie Northam. “A Look At How Sanctions Would ‘Snap Back’ If Iran Violates Nuke Deal”. NPR.
- Jacob J. Lew, The High Price of Rejecting the Iran Deal, New York Times (August 13, 2015).
- Wang Yi: China Plays Unique and Constructive Role in Reaching Comprehensive Agreement on Iranian Nuclear Issue, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (14 July 2015).
- Parisa Hafezi, Louis Charbonneau, John Irish & Arshad Mohammed, Iran deal reached, Obama hails step toward ‘more hopeful world’, Reuters (14 July 2015).
- Statement by President Donald Tusk on the agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme, European Council (15 July 2015).
- Associated Press, French President Hollande calls on Iran to help in Syrian conflict (14 July 2015).
- Iran deal “sufficiently robust” for 10 years, says France’s foreign minister Laurent Fabius, Reuters (14 July 2015).
- Thomas Erdbrink, Laurent Fabius, French Foreign Minister, Visits Iran, New York Times (July 29, 2015).
- “Fabius visit stirs bad blood in Iran — Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East”. Al-Monitor. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
- Robin Millard, World leaders voice relief at Iran nuclear deal, AFP (14 July 2015).
- Gabriel heads off to forge business links with Iran, Deutsche Welle (July 19, 2015).
- Reuters, Iran’s Zarif, EU say nuclear deal is new chapter of hope (16 July 2015).
- “Iran Calls Nuclear Deal Great Defeat for Israel: ‘Never Has the Zionist Regime Been So Isolated'”. Reuters. July 21, 2015.
- Newman, Marissa. “Zarif in Beirut: Nuke deal ‘historic opportunity’ to face Israeli threats”.
- Thomas Erdbrink, Iran Celebrates Nuclear Deal, Tempered by Cynicism and Hard-Liner Warnings, The New York Times (14 July 2015).
- Thomas Erdbrink, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei Urges ‘Careful Scrutiny’ of Iran Deal, The New York Times (15 July 2015).
- Thomas Erdbrink, Iranian Hard-Liners Say Nuclear Accord Crosses Their Red Lines, The New York Times (16 July 2015).
- Ali Akbar Dareini, Iran’s Supreme Leader Says Nuclear Deal Won’t Change Policy Toward ‘Arrogant’ U.S., Associated Press (July 18, 2015).
- Thomas Erdbrink, Ayatollah Khamenei, Backing Iran Negotiators, Endorses Nuclear Deal, New York Times (July 18, 2015).
- Wiklin, Sam (14 July 2015). “Iran’s Khamenei lent cautious support to pursuit of nuclear deal”. Reuters. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- Greg Botelho, Iran nuclear deal full of complex issues and moving parts, CNN (July 14, 2015).
- Maria Stromova & Alastair Jamieson, Iran Nuclear Deal: Russia Hails ‘Positive Step’ for Middle East, NBC News (14 July 2015).
- Claire Phipps. “Iran nuclear deal: historic agreement in Vienna – live updates”. The Guardian.
- Barak Ravid, Israel prefers permanent standoff to any Iran deal, says U.K.’s foreign secretary, Haaretz (15 July 2015).
- Associated Press, Netanyahu and Hammond spar over Iran nuclear agreement(16 July 2015).
- Ray Locker, First take: Obama’s winning streak continues with Iran deal, USA Today (14 July 2015).
- Paul Lewis, Obama vows to veto any Republican attempt to derail Iran nuclear deal, The Guardian (14 July 2015).
- Carrie Dann, 2016 Republican Candidates Slam Iran Nuke Deal, NBC News (14 July 2015).
- Tom LoBianco & Sophie Tatum, GOP 2016 hopefuls slam Iran nuclear deal, CNN (14 July 2015).
- Adam Wollner, How the 2016 Presidential Candidates Are Reacting to the Iran Deal, National Journal (14 July 2015).
- Lawder, David (14 July 2015). Trott, Bill, ed. “U.S. House Speaker Boehner says Iran accord looks like a ‘bad deal'”. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- Nora Kelly, Nancy Pelosi Is On Board With the Iran Nuclear Deal, National Journal (July 16, 2015).
- “McConnell: Iran Deal a Result of ‘Flawed Perspective'”. ABC News Radio. 14 July 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- Reuters, Reid calls for “level-headed” review of Iran nuclear deal (July 14, 2015).
- Associated Press, Reid Says He’s Going to Support Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal(August 23, 2015).
- Sarah Mimms, The GOP’s Iran Deal Point Man Is Holding His Fire, National Journal (14 July 2015).
- Troyan, Mary. “Corker warns of ‘breathtaking’ concessions on Iran deal”.
- Editorial: An Iran Nuclear Deal That Reduces the Chance of War, The New York Times (14 July 2015).
- Antonia Blumberg, Vatican Says It Views Iran Deal In a ‘Positive Light’, The Huffington Post (14 July 2015).
- Itamar Sharon, Jonathan Beck and Avi Lewis (14 July 2015). “Netanyahu: Israel ‘not bound’ by Iran deal, will defend itself”. The Times of Israel. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- Peter Beaumont, Netanyahu denounces Iran nuclear deal but faces criticism from within Israel, The Guardian (14 July 2015).
- Goldberg, Jeffrey (16 July 2015). “Israeli Opposition Leader: Iran Deal Will Bring Chaos to the Middle East”. The Atlantic.
- Bender, Arik (July 15, 2015). “Lapid says Iran nuclear deal ‘Israel’s biggest foreign policy failure ever'”. The Jerusalem Post.
- Tamar Pileggi, Arab Israeli MKs welcome Iran nuclear agreement, Times of Israel (July 14, 2015).
- Jonathan Alter, Ex-Intel Chief: Iran Deal Good for Israel, The Daily Beast (July 21, 2015).
- Carol Giacomo, In Israel, Some Support the Iran Deal, New York Times (July 23, 2015).
- Chuck Freilich, Op-ed: A Good Deal for Israel, New York Times (July 20, 2015).
- Nabih Bulos, Iran deal: Arab world’s cautious reaction reflects deep fault lines,Los Angeles Times (14 July 2015).
- Sarah MacDonald, His Majesty lauded for his role as global peacemaker,Times of Oman (July 22, 2015).
- Jay Solomon, Secret Dealings With Iran Led to Nuclear Talks: Years of clandestine exchanges between the two countries helped build a foundation for nuclear negotiations, Wall Street Journal (June 28, 2015).
- Christa Case Bryant, The man behind secret US-Iran talks: Sultan Qaboos,Christian Science Monitor (November 24, 2013).
- Qatar Welcomes Iran Nuclear Deal, Kuwait News Agency (15 July 2015).
- Official Source on Nuclear Deal between Iran and P5+1 Group, Saudi Press Agency (July 14, 2015).
- Helene Cooper, Saudi Arabia Approves of Iran Nuclear Deal, U.S. Defense Chief Says, New York Times (July 22, 2015).
- Xinhua, Afghan president welcomes Iran nuclear deal (14 July 2015).
- Mindock, Clark (14 July 2015). “Iran Nuclear Deal Reactions: Egypt Hopes Agreement Will Avoid Middle East Arms Race”. International Business Times. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- AFP, Pakistan, global powers welcome Iran nuclear deal (14 July 2015).
- Mateen Haider, Zardari welcomes Iran nuclear deal, Dawn (15 July 2015).
- Deniz Arslan, Turkey welcomes Iran’s nuclear deal with West, Today’s Zaman(July 14, 2015).
- Cengiz Çandar, How Turkey Really Feels About the Iran Deal, Al-Monitor (June 21, 2015).
- AFP, Syria’s Assad praises Iran deal as ‘great victory’ (July 14, 2015).
- Katharine Murphy, Tony Abbott welcomes Iran nuclear deal – with great caution,The Guardian (14 July 2015).
- Minister Nicholson Comments on Nuclear Deal Reached by P5+1 and Iran, Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (14 July 2015).
- Graham Clark, Canada to keep sanctions against Iran despite nuclear deal, The Globe and Mail (14 July 2015).
- Adriaan Alsema, Santos says Iran nuclear deal is ‘another triumph of diplomacy over confrontation’, Colombia Reports (14 July 2015).
- James Pearson & Seung Yun Oh, North Korea says not interested in Iran-like nuclear talks with U.S., Reuters (July 21, 2015).
- Norway hails ‘historic’ Iran deal, The Local (14 July 2015).
- “Statement on the Iran Nuclear Deal”. Department of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved17 July 2015.
- U.N. Leader Welcomes Iran Deal, The New York Times (14 July 2015).
- UN applauds ‘historic’ deal on Iranian nuclear programme, UN News Centre (14 July 2015).
- Director General’s Statement on the Announcement by the E3/EU + 3 and Iran on the Agreement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, International Atomic Energy Agency (14 July 2015).
- Statement on Iran Nuclear agreement, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (15 July 2015).
- Doug Bolton, Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby calls out ‘double standard’ of international attitude to Israeli nuclear programme, The Independent (July 16, 2015).
- Jay Solomon & Carol E. Lee, Gulf Arab States Voice Support for Iran Nuclear Deal, Wall Street Journal (August 3, 2015).
- Matthew Lee, Asian nations endorse Iran nuke deal as Kerry says Hiroshima anniversary shows accord’s import, Globe & Mail (August 6, 2015).
- Statement on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action To Address Iran’s Nuclear Programme by Ministers Participating in The 5th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (August 6, 2015).
- “The Triumph of Nuclear Diplomacy”. International Crisis Group.
- Max Fisher, “I would give it an A”: Why nuclear experts love the Iran deal,Vox (15 July 2015).
- John Mecklin, The experts assess the Iran agreement of 2015, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (14 July 2015).
- Fleitz, Fred. “Iran nuclear deal much worse than experts predicted”.
- U.S. Energy Secretary: Deal Keeps Iran Further Away From A Nuclear Weapon,All Things Considered, NPR (15 July 2015).
- Kristina Peterson & Amy Harder, The Nuclear Physicist Answering Lawmakers’ Questions on Iran Deal, The Wall Street Journal (16 July 2015).
- Gordon, Michael (July 23, 2015). “Verification Process in Iran Deal Is Questioned by Some Experts”. New York Times.
- Ariel Edwards-Levy, Contradictory Iran Polls Show Why It Matters How You Ask: People sometimes fall back on partisan cues when they lack information, Huffington Post (July 21, 2015).
- Greg Sargent, What does the American public really think of the Iran deal?,Washington Post (August 3, 2015).
- William Jordan, Americans tend to favor Iran deal, despite serious doubts, YouGov (July 17, 2015).
- “CNN/ORC International Poll”. CNN/ORC. 20 August 2015. Retrieved 23 August2015.
- “Iran Nuclear Agreement Meets With Public Skepticism”. Pew Research Center. 21 July 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
- Laura Meckler and Kristina Peterson (August 3, 2015). “U.S. Public Split on Iran Nuclear Deal — WSJ/NBC Poll”. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
- Full YouGov tables.
- Scott Clement, 56 percent of people support Obama’s Iran deal. But they don’t think it will work, Washington Post (July 20, 2015). See also poll details.
- Steven M. Cohen, New poll: U.S. Jews support Iran deal, despite misgivings,Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles (July 23, 2015).
- LA Jewish Journal Survey: The Iran Deal Poll
- Tables from the survey of the American general population.
- Tables from Cohen Survey of American Jews
- Kathy Frankovic (July 24, 2015). “The Economist/YouGov Poll” (PDF). YouGov. Retrieved August 11, 2015.
- Tom Jensen, Americans Strongly in Favor of Iran Deal, Public Policy Polling (July 27, 2015).
- Jennifer Agiesta (28 July 2015). “CNN/ORC poll: Majority wants Congress to reject Iran deal”. CNN. Retrieved 29 July 2015. (see also full results)
- “American Voters Oppose Iran Deal 2-1, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds…”. Quinnipiac University. 3 August 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
- Mark Murray, Poll: American Public Divided on Iran Nuclear Deal, Meet the Press, NBC News (August 3, 2015).
- NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by Hart Research Associates (D) and Public Opinion Strategies (R). July 26-30, 2015. N=approx. 500 adults nationwide..
- Dana Blanton (15 August 2015). “Fox News Poll: Majority would reject Iran nuke deal”. Fox News Channel. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- Fox News poll: August 11-13, 2015 – full results
- Jennifer Agiesta and Jeremy Diamond (20 August 2015). “Poll: Most Americans want Congress to reject Iran deal”. CNN. Retrieved 23 August 2015.. See also Full results.
- Hannah Volmar (June 22, 2015). “Iranian Americans and the American public at large support efforts to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran”. PAAIA. RetrievedAugust 14, 2015.
- New Poll: Majority of American Jews Support Iran Nuclear Deal, J Street (July 28, 2015).
- Maurice Carroll (August 11, 2015). “New York City Voters Oppose Iran Nuclear Pact, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds” (PDF). Quinnipiac University. Retrieved August 13,2015.
- Tom Jensen, New York City Voters Strongly Support Iran Deal, Public Policy Polling (August 13, 2015).
- Nancy Gallagher, Ebrahim Mohseni, and Clay Ramsay (June 23, 2015). “Majority of Iranian Public Approves of Pursuing Nuclear Agreement, New Study Finds”. University of Maryland School of Policy. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Entekhab (August 6, 2015). “جهانگیری: مخالفان توافق هسته ای 4 درصد هستند، پس لحن طلبکارانه نداشته باشند و در حد همان 4 درصد حرف بزنند”. Entekhab. RetrievedAugust 14, 2015.
- Iran nuclear deal: UN Security Council likely to vote next week: US diplomats to promote deal to UN counterparts in coming days, Thomson Reuters (15 July 2015).
- Somini Sengupta, Consensus Gives Security Council Momentum in Mideast, but Question Is How Much, The New York Times (16 July 2015).
- CBS News/Associated Press, Iran deal set to become international law (17 July 2015).
- Somini Sengupta, U.N. Moves to Lift Sanctions on Iran After Nuclear Deal, New York Times (July 20, 2015).
- Steven Nelson, Iran Deal May Bind Next President: Scholars say the nuclear agreement could be binding under domestic and international law, U.S. News & World Report (July 15, 2015).
- David Golove, Presidential Authority to Conclude an Iran Nuclear Agreement—and the Senate’s Self-Defeating Bill, Just Security (August 20, 2014).
- Michael J. Glennon, The Iran Nuclear Deal: The Dispensability of Obligation, Just Security (March 16, 2015).
- Felicia Schwartz, Iran Nuclear Deal, If Reached, Wouldn’t Be ‘Legally Binding,’ Kerry Says, Wall Street Journal (March 11, 2015).
- Zachary Laub, How Binding Is the Iran Deal? (interview with John B. Bellinger III), Council on Foreign Relations (July 23, 2015).
- Orde Kittrie (August 12, 2015). “Congress Can Rewrite the Iran Deal”. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015), adopted by the Security Council at its 7488th meeting, on 20 July 2015
- Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations,Explanation of Vote at a UN Security Council Vote on Resolution 2231 on Iran Non-proliferation (July 20, 2015).
- Robin Emmott & Francesco Guarascio, Europe backs Iran nuclear deal in signal to U.S. Congress, Reuters (July 20, 2015).
- Amber Phillips, Can Congress stop the Iran deal?, Washington Post (July 1, 2015).
- Scott Bomboy, Veto showdown on tap for Congress after Iran nuclear deal, National Constitution Center (July 15, 2015).
- Matthew Fleming, Iran Deal: Treaty or Not?, Roll Call (July 21, 2015).
- 539 U.S. 396 (2003).
- Rivkin, David; Lee A. Casey (July 27, 2015). “The Lawless Underpinnings of the Iran Nuclear Deal”. Wall Street Journal: A13.
- Michael Ramsey, Is the Iran Deal Unconstitutional?, Originalism Blog (July 15, 2015).
- Jack Goldsmith, More Weak Arguments For The Illegality of the Iran Deal,Lawfare Blog (July 27, 2015).
- John Yoo, Why Obama’s Executive Action on Iran Does Not Violate the Law,National Review (July 26, 2015).
- Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, Pub.L. 114–17.
- Iran Nuclear Review Act Becomes Law, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP (May 29, 2015).
- Jonathan Weisman & Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Republican Lawmakers Vow Fight to Derail Nuclear Deal, The New York Times (14 July 2005).
- Kevin Liptak, Now that he has a deal with Iran, Obama must face Congress, CNN (July 14, 2015).
- Susan Page, Cardin: If Iran deal survives, more U.S. aid likely to Israel, Gulf states, USA Today (July 21, 2015).
- Deb Riechmann, High-stakes lobbying on Iran deal; pressure for Congress, Associated Press (July 22, 2015).
- Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, United States Department of State (June 19, 2015).
- Eric Bradner, State Dept. sends Iran deal to Congress, CNN (July 19, 2015).
- Patricia Zengerle, House to vote on Iran deal disapproval resolution, Reuters (August 4, 2015).
- Jordain Carney (31 July 2015). “Cruz wants delay in Iran review period because of ‘side deals'”. The Hill. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- “S. RES. 238”. Congress.gov. 30 July 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- Maya Rhodan, Western Powers Reach Long-sought Nuclear Deal With Iran, Time(July 14, 2015).
- History of Official Proposals on the Iranian Nuclear Issue, Arms Control Association (last updated July 14, 2015).
- Laurence Norman & Jay Solomon, Iran, World Powers Reach Nuclear Deal, Wall Street Journal (July 14, 2015).
- Michael D. Shear & Julie Hitschfeld Davis, Obama Begins 60-Day Campaign to Win Over Iran Deal Skeptics at Home and Abroad, The New York Times (15 July 2015).
- Full text: Obama’s news conference on the Iran nuclear deal, The Washington Post (15 July 2015).
- Iran nuclear deal: ‘99% of world agrees’ says Obama, BBC News (15 July 2015).
- Thomas Friedman, Obama Makes His Case on Iran Nuclear Deal, New York Times (July 15, 2015).
- Deirdre Walsh & Ted Barrett, WH dispatches Joe Biden to lock down Iran deal on Capitol Hill, CNN (July 16, 2015).
- Weekly Address: A Comprehensive, Long-Term Deal with Iran, White House Office of the Press Secretary (July 18, 2015).
- Jonathan Weisman & Michael R. Gordon, Kerry Defends Iran Nuclear Deal Before Skeptical Senate, New York Times (July 23, 2015).
- Peter Baker, Obama Criticizes Huckabee, Trump, Cruz and Other Republicans,New York Times (July 27, 2015).
- Nick Gass, Mike Huckabee not backing down after Holocaust remark, Politico(July 27, 2015).
- Amita Kelly, ‘Offensive,’ ‘Sad’: Reaction To Huckabee’s Holocaust ‘Oven’ Reference, NPR (July 27, 2015).
- Ishaan Tharoor, Israelis scold Huckabee for saying Iran deal sends them to ‘door of the oven’, Washington Post (July 28, 2015).
- Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia in Joint Press Conference, National Palace Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, White House Office of the Press Secretary (July 27, 2015).
- Julie Hirschfeld Davis, It’s Either Iran Nuclear Deal or ‘Some Form of War,’ Obama Warns, New York Times (August 5, 2015).
- Remarks by the President on the Iran Nuclear Deal, American University, Washington, D.C., White House Office of the Press Secretary (August 5, 2015). Another transcript of this speech was also printed by the Washington Post.
- Chuck Schumer (7 August 2015). “My Position on the Iran Deal”. Medium. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- Eliza Collins, President Obama stands by comments linking Republicans to Iranian hard-liners, Politico (August 10, 2015).
- Michael McAuliff (6 August 2015). “Mitch McConnell Scolds Obama To Tone Down Iran Rhetoric”. Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
- “Transcripts”. CNN. 6 August 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
- Jordain Carney (6 August 2015). “Corker: Obama ‘trying to shut down’ Iran debate”. The Hill. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
- Eliza Collins, Clapper: Iran deal gives U.S. access, insight, Politico (July 24, 2015).
- Jonathan Weisman & Nicholas Confessore, Donors Descend on Schumer and Others in Debate on Iran, New York Times (August 12, 2015).
- Catherine Ho, Mega-donors opposing Iran deal have upper hand in fierce lobbying battle, Washington Post (August 13, 2015).
- Ali Gharib, Iranian-Americans welcome nuclear deal, despite opposition to regime, Al Jazeera America (July 16, 2015).
- Joint Statement of Iranian-American Organizations on the U.S.-Iran Nuclear Deal, National Iranian American Council (July 29, 2015).
- NIAC Applauds Historic Iran Deal, National Iranian American Council (July 14, 2015).
- Nahal Toosi, Scholars: Iran deal will stabilize Mideast: The latest letter on the Iran nuclear deal focuses on potential benefits to the volatile region, Politico(August 27, 2015). See also full text of letter.
- Felicia Schwartz, Pro-Israel Groups in U.S. Square Off Over Iran Nuke Deal,Wall Street Journal (July 16, 2015).
- Alexander Bolton, New group backed by AIPAC targets deal, The Hill (July 17, 2015).
- Byron Tau, AIPAC Funds Ads Opposing Iran Nuclear Deal, Wall Street Journal(July 17, 2015).
- Ailsa Chang, Lobbyists Spending Millions to Sway the Undecided on Iran Deal, NPR (August 6, 2015).
- John Bresnahan & Anna Palmer, Iran deal foes spend big, get little so far, Politico(August 4, 2015).
- Jacob Kornbluh, J Street launches multimillion dollar campaign in support of Iran nuclear deal, Haaretz (July 16, 2015).
- Gus Burns, First look at $2 million J-Street ad campaign in support of Iran nuclear deal, MLive.com (August 4, 2015).
- John Fritze, J Street runs ads in Maryland supporting Iran deal, Baltimore Sun(August 4, 2015).
- Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran (CNFI) Launches Third National TV Ad (press release), United Against Nuclear Iran (August 20, 2015).
- Michael R. Gordon, Head of Group Opposing Iran Accord Quits Post, Saying He Backs Deal, New York Times (August 11, 2015).
- Allison Kaplan Sommer, Ad Nauseum: How Supporters and Opponents Are Trying to Sell the Iranian Nuclear Deal, Haaretz (August 26, 2015).
- Peter Waldman, How Freelance Diplomacy Bankrolled by Rockefellers Has Paved the Way for an Iran Deal, Bloomberg Politics (July 2, 2015).
- Julian Hattem, More than 100 ex-US ambassadors pledge backing for Iran deal, The Hill (July 17, 2015).
- Letter to the President from over 100 former American Ambassadors on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s Nuclear Program (July 17, 2015).
- James Fallows, A Guide to the Iran Nuclear Deal’s Supporters and Opponents, The Atlantic (July 28, 2015).
- Letter to Congressional Leadership from Former Under Secretaries of State and former American Ambassadors to Israel on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action(July 27, 2015).
- Statement by 60 National Security Leaders on the Announcement of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, The Iran Project (July 20, 2015).
- Joe Cirincione, 60 of America’s Top National Security Leaders Endorse Iran Deal, Huffington Post (July 21, 2015).
- William J. Broad, 29 U.S. Scientists Praise Iran Nuclear Deal in Letter to Obama, New York Times (August 8, 2015).
- Scientists’ Letter to Obama on Iran Nuclear Deal (August 8, 2015), reprinted by the New York Times.
- Karen DeYoung, Dozens of retired generals, admirals back Iran nuclear deal,Washington Post (August 11, 2015).
- Read: An open letter from retired generals and admirals on the Iran nuclear deal (letter released August 11, 2015), reprinted by the Washington Post.
- Morello, Carol (August 26, 2015). “Retired generals and admirals urge Congress to reject Iran nuclear deal”. Washington Post.
- “Read: An open letter from retired generals and admirals opposing the Iran nuclear deal”.
- Mark Thompson, Retired Generals Wage Letter War Over Iran Nuclear Deal Vote,Time (August 27, 2015).
- Carl Levin & John Warner, Why hawks should also back the Iran deal,Politico (August 13, 2015).
- Richard Lugar & J. Bennett Johnston, Why we disagree with Chuck Schumer on the Iran deal, Reuters Great Debate (August 14, 2015).
- The Comprehensive P5+1 Nuclear Agreement With Iran: A Net-Plus for Nonproliferation: Statement from Nuclear Nonproliferation Specialists, Arms Control Association (August 17, 2015).
- Michael Crowley, Nuclear experts fall in behind Obama: The deal with Iran exceeds historical standards for arms control agreements, 75 experts say, Politico(August 18, 2015).
- Peter Foster, Barack Obama’s big gamble: Will Iran deal secure his presidential legacy?, Telegraph (July 18, 2015).
- Deb Riechmann, Dermer becomes PM’s pointman as battle over Iran deal moves to DC, Associated Press (July 19, 2015).
- Karen DeYoung, Senate opponents of Iran deal draw hard lines against White House, Washington Post (July 23, 2015).
- John Hudson, P5+1 Nations Press Senate Democrats to Support Iran Deal,Foreign Policy (August 6, 2015).
- Dennis Ross, How to Make Iran Keep its Word, Politico (July 29, 2015).
- Chemi Shalev, Reflecting Deep Divisions, Reform Movement Abstains From ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on Iran Deal, Haaretz (August 19, 2015).
- Reform Jewish Movement Response to Iran Deal: Address Important Concerns, Focus on the Day After, Union for Reform Judaism (August 20, 2015).
- Nathan Guttman, 26 Top Jewish Leaders Back Iran Deal in New York Times Ad(August 20, 2015).
- 340 U.S. rabbis sign letter supporting Iran deal, Jewish Telegraphic Agency (August 17, 2015).
- Lauren Markoe, 340 rabbis urge Congress to approve Iran nuclear deal, Religion News Service (August 17, 2015).
- Aron Chilewich, More than 900 rabbis sign letter opposing Iran nuclear deal,Jewish Journal (August 27, 2015).
- Orthodox Rabbis to Join Lobbying Push Against Iran Deal, Jewish Telegraphic Agency (July 30, 2015).
- American Jewish Committee Opposes Iran Nuclear Deal, Jewish Telegraph Agency (August 5, 2015).
- Vinnie Rotondaro, Signs of ‘seamless garment’ in Catholic support for Iran nuke deal, National Catholic Reporter (August 13, 2015).
- Bishop Cantú Welcomes Iran Nuclear Deal, Urges Congress To Endorse Result of Negotiations, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (July 14, 2015).
- Bob Allen, 51 Christian leaders support Iran nuclear deal, Baptist News (August 25, 2015).
- Iran Nuclear Agreement Review, United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (July 23, 2015) (video of hearing).
- “Senator Corker Opening Statement at Hearing to Review the Iran Nuclear Agreement”. U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. 23 July 2015. Retrieved5 August 2015.
- “Iran Nuclear Agreement (Senate Committee on Foreign Relations – hearing)”. C-SPAN. 23 July 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
- Teresa Welsh (23 July 2015). “Corker to Kerry: ‘You’ve Been Fleeced’ on Iran Deal”. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
- Karoun Demirjian (23 July 2015). “Twelve things in the Iran deal that lawmakers can’t agree on”. The Washington Post. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
- Kristina Wong (28 July 2015). “House chairman: Nuclear deal gives Iran a ‘cash bonanza'”. The Hill. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
- “Chairman Royce opening statement”. United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs. 28 July 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
- “Cabinet Secretaries on Iran Nuclear Agreement (House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing)”. C-SPAN. 28 July 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
- Susan Davis (28 July 2015). “House panel questions Iran nuclear deal”. USA Today. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
- Jennifer Steinhauer, Iran Nuclear Deal Gets Support of House Israel Backer, Sander Levin (July 28, 2015).
- Iran Nuclear Agreement: The Administration’s Case (video of Secretary Kerry’s opening remarks before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on July 28, 2015).
- Carol Morello, House panel grills administration officials about Iran deal,Washington Post (July 28, 2015).
- Helene Cooper, Nuclear Deal Reduces Risk of Conflict With Iran, Top U.S. General Says, New York Times (July 29, 2015).
- Molly O’Toole (29 July 2015). “Three Cabinet Secretaries Crashed John McCain’s Iran Hearing”. Defense One. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
- “Impacts of the JCPOA on U.S. Interests and the Military Balance in the Middle East (Senate Armed Services Committee – hearing)”. C-SPAN. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
- “Opening Statement of Chairman John McCain (Armed Services Committee – hearing)” (PDF). U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
- “Opening Statement of U.S. Senator Jack Reed (Armed Services Committee – hearing)” (PDF). U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
- Opening Statement by Ranking Member Jack Reed, SASC Hearing on Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (July 29, 2015).
- Anne K Walters (30 July 2015). “US defence chief tells Congress military options remain against Iran”. Deutsche Presse-Agentur. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
- Tom Bowman, Senate Republicans Raise Concerns About Lifting Iran Economic Sanctions, NPR (July 29, 2015).
- Michael Bowman, US Lawmakers Seek Details of Iran Nuke Inspection Regime, Voice of America (July 29, 2015).
- Karoun Demirjian (29 July 2015). “Senators push to go it alone on Iran”. The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
- Dempsey: ‘We Have a Range of Options’ Between Iran Deal and War (video of General Dempsey’s testimony before the the Senate Armed Services Committee on July 29, 2015).
- The Real Facts on the Iran Nuclear Deal, Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation (last updated August 12, 2015).
- Nathan Guttman, Fact-Checking the Flame Throwers on Both Sides of Iran Deal, Jewish Daily Forward (August 13, 2015).
- Martin Matishak, Obama officials deny ‘secret deals’ in Iran nuclear pact, The Hill (July 22, 2015).
- “Sen. Cotton: John Kerry “Like Pontius Pilate, Washing His Hands” Of Iran Nuclear “Side Deal””.
- Associated Press, IAEA can’t give Congress its nuke document with Iran, Amano says (August 6, 2015).
- Michael Mathes (5 August 2015). “IAEA chief fails to reassure US senators on Iran deal”. Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
- David Lerman (30 July 2015). “‘Secret Side Deals’ on Iran Accord Are New Republican Target”. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- David Albright (10 August 2015). “What Iran’s hostile reaction to the Parchin issue means for the nuclear deal”. The Washington Post. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- Jennifer Steinhauer, Republicans Have Minds Made Up as Debate Begins on Iran Nuclear Deal, New York Times (July 23, 2015).
- Mike DeBonis and Steven Mufson (July 14, 2015). “On Capitol Hill, deep skepticism persists as lawmakers react to Iran deal”.
- Gerald F. Seib, An Expert View: Accept the Deal but Move to Contain Iran,Wall Street Journal (July 20, 2015).
- Tim Farnsworth, U.S. Position on Iran Enrichment: More Public Recognition Than Policy Shift, Arms Control Association, Arms Control Now (April 30, 2012).
- Michael Singh, The Case for Zero Enrichment in Iran, Arms Control Today, Arms Control Association (March 2013).
- Kate Nelson, US bill requiring zero enrichment would be a deal breaker, British American Security Information Council (January 17, 2014).
- Michael A. Levi, Drawing the Line on Iranian Enrichment, Survival: Global Politics and Strategy (August–September 2011), doi:10.1080/00396338.2011.603568(reprinted by the Council on Foreign Relations).
- Mark Jansson, The Siren Song of Zero Enrichment, The National Interest(October 12, 2013).
- George Perkovich, Demanding Zero Enrichment From Iran Makes Zero Sense,Foreign Affairs (January 15, 2014) (reprinted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
- See also Lucy Westcott, With an Eye on Congress, Kerry Says There Is No Better Iran Deal, Newsweek (August 11, 2015) (Kerry: “”When I hear a senator or a congressman stand up and say, ‘Well, we should get a better deal,’ that is not going to happen. There isn’t a ‘better deal’ to be gotten. You can’t just sit there and say, ‘I say no, let’s not do this deal, we’ll just go get a better one’ and not take into account the history of the road that has been traveled.”).
- Al Franken, Why I support Iran deal, CNN (August 13, 2015).
- Stephen M. Walt, The Myth of a Better Deal, Foreign Policy (August 10, 2015).
- Albert Carnesale, Deal or No Deal: The Choice Before Congress, National Interest(August 5, 2015) (reprinted by the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs).
- Robert Satloff, A Better Deal With Iran Is Possible, The Atlantic (August 13, 2015).
- Levin Statement on the Iran Nuclear Agreement (July 28, 2015).
- Melissa Nann Burke & David Shepardson, Rep. Levin backs Iran nuke agreement; others undecided, Detroit News (July 28, 2015).
- Mike DeBonis, Three Senate Democrats came off of the fence to support the Iran deal, Washington Post (August 4, 2015).
- Senator Bill Nelson on Iran Nuclear Agreement, C-SPAN (August 4, 2015).
- Zac Anderson, Nelson supports Iran nuclear deal, Herald-Tribune (August 4, 2011).
- Alex Leary, Bill Nelson announces support for Iran nuclear deal, Tampa Bay Times (August 4, 2015).
- Paul Kane, Sen. Charles Schumer announces opposition to nuclear pact with Iran,Washington Post (August 6, 2015).
- Ken Dilanian, US officials say they can tell if Iran is cheating on deal, Associated Press (August 12, 2015).
- Karoun Demirjian, House Dems pounce on intel assessment of Iran deal,Washington Post (August 13, 2015).
- Current and Former House Intelligence Committee Members Urge Colleagues to Review Intelligence Community Assessments of Iran Nuclear Deal, United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Democratic Office (August 13, 2015).
- Kristina Peterson, GOP Leaders Back Vote to Disapprove of Iran Nuclear DealWall Street Journal (August 4, 2015).
- Lauren French, GOP can disapprove Iran deal, but veto remains a hurdle,Politico (August 3, 2015).
- Emma Dumain, Royce, Boehner Set Stage for House Disapproval of Iran Deal,Roll Call (August 4, 2015).
- H. Res. 367 (introduced July 16, 2015).
- Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Lobbying Fight Over Iran Nuclear Deal Centers on Democrats, New York Times (August 17, 2015).
- Amber Phillips, Whip count: Where the Senate stands on the Iran deal,Washington Post (August 5, 2015).
- Lauren French, Liberals poised to give Barack Obama a win on Iran, Politico(August 13, 2015).
- Amber Phillips, Whip count: Where the Senate stands on the Iran deal,Washington Post (August 18, 2015).
- Sabrina Siddiqui, Congress does not have votes to block Iran deal, says Nancy Pelosi, The Guardian (August 20, 2015).
- Ryan Grim & Laura Barron-Lopez, Nancy Pelosi May Save The Iran Negotiations For Obama, Huffington Post (April 14, 2015).
- Erica Werner, Pelosi: House Democrats will sustain Obama veto on Iran deal, Associated Press (August 20, 2015).
- Thomas Erdbrink, Iran Lawmakers to Wait 80 Days Before Voting on Nuclear Deal, New York Times (July 21, 2015).
- Thomas Erdbrink & Rock Gladstone, Iran’s President Defends Nuclear Deal in Blunt Remarks, New York Times (July 23, 2015).
- Kasra Naji, Iran nuclear: Media ordered to be positive about deal, BBC Persian (July 26, 2015).
- Abbas Milani & Michael McFaul, What the Iran-Deal Debate Is Like in Iran, The Atlantic (August 11, 2015).
- Tara Kangarlou, Tehran’s debate over nuclear pact mirrors Washington’s, Al-Jazeera (August 13, 2015).
- Iranian Dissidents Against the Iran Deal, Daily Beast (August 14, 2015).
- Clifford Krauss, A New Stream of Oil for Iran, but Not Right Away, The New York Times (14 July 2015).
- Bill Spindle, Nicole Friedman & Benoît Faucon, Iran Deal Raises Prospect of Fresh Oil Glut, The Wall Street Journal (14 July 2015).
- Jason Chow, Peugeot in Talks to Re-Establish Auto Manufacturing in Iran, The Wall Street Journal (15 June 2015).
- Richard Stone, In Depth: Nuclear Diplomacy: Iran nuclear deal holds ‘goodies’ for scientists, Science, Vol. 349 no. 6246 pp. 356-357,doi:10.1126/science.349.6246.356.
- British embassy in Tehran reopens four years after closure, BBC News (August 23, 2015).
- UK embassy in Tehran to reopen after thaw in British-Iranian relations, BBC News (August 20, 2015).
- Joint statement by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at the European External Action Service (EEAS)
- Full text of the agreement: